Screen Openings and Hydraulics

Screen openings should be narrow enough to retain sticks, rags, and other trash but wide enough to allow excreta and toilet paper to pass. Table 7.14.1 lists common screen openings. The lower the velocity through the screen, the greater the amount of material removed from the waste. Deposition of solids in the channel, however, prohibits reducing the velocity beyond certain limits.

The Ten states' standards (Great Lakes-Upper Mississippi River Board of State Sanitary Engineers 1968) require that the average rate of flow velocity through manually raked bar screens should be approximately 1 fps and the maximum velocity during wet weather periods through mechanically cleaned bar screens should not exceed 2.5 fps. The velocity should be calculated from a vertical projection of the screen openings on the cross-sectional area between the channel invert and the flowline.

Head loss for screens varies with the quantity and nature of the screenings that accumulate between cleanings. Environmental engineers can calculate the head loss created by a clean screen by considering the flow and the effective area of the screen openings as follows:

V2 - v2 1 H = —2- X — or H = 0.0222(V2v2) 7.14(1)


H = head loss, ft V = velocity through screen, fps v = velocity of incoming waste, fps g = acceleration due to gravity

The minimum allowance for loss through a hand-cleaned screen is 6 in, assuming frequent attention to the screens by operating personnel. The maximum head loss through clogged racks should be kept below 2.5 ft.

Material collected on screens impedes the flow. Excessive back ups in the incoming line can cause pounding and deposition of putrefying solids. When screens are cleaned, high flow surges occur that can cause hydraulic and treatment problems at the plant. The use of steeper grades in the influent pipe preceding the screen can reduce these problems.

Mechanically cleaned screens are usually protected by enclosures. Efficient ventilation is important and prolongs the life of both the equipment and the enclosure. The enclosure should have separate outside entrances. Convenient access and ample working space are important. Convenient unloading and handling of rackings can be provided by screw conveyors, belt conveyors, containers, or buckets.

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