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The History of Chopper Pumps and the Case for Evolution

Gregg Keener April 05, 2023

Why yesterday’s problem needs tomorrow’s solution.

Chopper Pumps are a relatively new technology, developed in the United States in the 50’s and 60’s to solve a problem that was becoming increasingly common in rural and suburban areas:  what to do about handling the tougher solids that get into Storm & Wastewater.

Before the Chopper pump there became a need to be able to handle larger tougher solids that could not be pumped through traditional Solids Handling Wastewater pumps.  As the population continued to grow it created an increasing demands for wastewater management.  The waste issues outgrew the management! 

Too much and too large became a problem.  The Chopper pump was a great solution.  The Chopper pump would not just pump, but while it was pumping it was tearing solids into much smaller pieces so it could be passed on through the pump and hopefully, not plug the waste lines from the pump to the next terminal point.

Today, Chopper pumps are commonly used in many storm/Sewage applications throughout our country and they are becoming more and more of an essential part of many wastewater applications.

But the world has changed , hasn’t it?  New products have come along that aren’t necessarily bio-degradable along with a larger concentration of solids that bind many sewer lines and pumps.

The Covid Pandemic brought a new reliance on sanitary wipes and cleaning disposable materials.  In most cases, these products aren’t bio-degradable.  They say they are flushable…but they are very fibrous and because they are made of a lot of plastic, these fibers are strong and easily plug sewer lines and pumps.  People don’t realize the problems this causes, so there isn’t much incentive to change.

Worse, things like blue jeans, tennis shoes, mop heads and other big objects not meant for sewer drains are getting in, likely through street storm drains and into the sewer lines.  Now the pump has to deal with not only pumping the water, but all the solids that can easily plug these pumps.

And so, the traditional Chopper pumps are not chopping solids small enough with the larger concentration and can plug sewer lines after passing through the pump and even plugging the chopper pump. 

The next-generation Chopper pump will macerate more finely the solids, especially effective in larger concentrations so that the pump does not jam and even better keep the lines from plugging downstream.  Keen Pump, an Ashland Ohio based pump manufacturer, has patented a “Pulverizer” chopper pump model.

This ”Pulverizer” Chopper pump macerates the biggest and tough objects into very small particles it can pass through the pump.  This allows the pump not to jam and the sewer line downstream to plug.

One thing will never change:  Wastewater needs to be pumped, more efficiently and in more volumes than ever before.  What will change is the need to adapt to new societal norms.  That means the “Pulverizer” Chopper pump must continue to evolve!~

To find out more about the “Pulverizer” pump, available for production at Keen Pump, call Keen Pump today for more information.

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Keen Pump
471 US-250
Ashland, OH 44805
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