Directional drilling has been around since the 1920’s and is a process that has enabled water and sewer pipes as well as telecommunications and electric lines to be installed underneath roads, waterways, and hard-to-reach places across the United States. The drilling of non-vertical wells at multiple angles has also enabled the oil and gas industry to better reach energy reserves and minimize the environmental impacts of some wells. One directional drilling company based in Colorado specializes in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) using a fleet of trucks and portable equipment to support infrastructure projects all over the country.
This company travels to the construction site and prepares for the HDD project by digging a 10-foot deep holding pit. This 15’ x 15’ holding pit is filled with water and a submersible pump is inserted to transport spent drilling fluid up to a separator truck. Drilling fluid, a viscous solution comprised of water and bentonite, is used to cool and lubricate the drill bit, stabilize the soil around the bore-hole, and assist in the removal of cuttings that are extracted through the boring process. The cuttings, along with the spent drillers mud, is pumped from the holding pit to the separator truck, which utilizes different mesh screens to collect the rocks, gravel, and debris. The drillers mud is filtered for re-use in the horizontal drill rig.
In 2015, this company worked with Denver Industrial Pumps to standardize their fleet of portable pumps used in the horizontal directional drilling process. In speaking with the engineers at Denver Industrial Pumps about the application and pumping requirements, it became clear that the KZN line of heavy duty submersible slurry pumps from BJM Pumps were an ideal fit for this HDD company. The KZN series slurry pump was selected for several reasons:
- The KZN slurry pump is manufactured with Chrome Iron – engineered for abrasive slurries. The 28% Chrome Iron Agitator effectively suspends mud so that slurries can be easily transported from one place to another. The High-Chrome Semi-Open Impeller is ideal for handling muddy slurries with concentrations of solids as high as 70% by weight. The KZN slurry pump’s hardened ductile iron volutes (300 Brinnell hardness, which is twice as abrasive resistant as standard ductile iron) are cast with extra thick walls at the point where pumped slurry enters the discharge. The KZN slurry pump is built with a Replaceable Chrome Iron Wear Plate on the suction side to counter the effects of erosion, which can cause a loss of pump performance. The replaceable high-chrome wear plate helps to improve overall pump life by providing higher endurance for abrasive slurries.
- KZN heavy duty slurry pumps are utility pumps; frequently dragged from one site to another. The KZN slurry pump doesn’t have a side discharge connection that can break off or be damaged as it is pulled and pushed into place. These submersible pumps can be hauled all over the country to different sites, inserted into these temporary holding pits, and operate anywhere from a couple days to several weeks – depending on the distance of the boring project.
- The KZN slurry pump is engineered for 24/7 Continuous Duty. Every KZN slurry pump model is protected by Class H motor insulation and built in amperage (FLA) and temperature overload protection, double silicon carbide mechanical seals in a separate oil filled seal chamber, and a heavy duty lip seal to safeguard the mechanical seals. The KZN slurry pump is also a top discharge pump, which means that the pump is cooled by the pumped liquid (a side discharge pump without a cooling jacket must stay submerged to avoid overheating).
Over the past three years, the horizontal drilling company has added several BJM Pumps to their fleet of portable HDD equipment. The HDD company transports these KZN submersible slurry pumps all over the country. While the technicians are boring the hole and pulling a pipe or wire through, the pump operates in the holding pit, suspended in such a way that the pump is not sitting directly against the bottom of the pit. Once the drilling is complete, the technicians shut down the pump, fill in the hole from the holding pit, remove the equipment and prepare it for transport to their next job site.
The drilling company has conveyed their satisfaction with the BJM Pumps to their reps at Denver Industrial Pumps, stating that “everything is working great!” This is a great example of the role pumps play in American infrastructure and the importance of working with distributors and manufacturers that have a proven track record.
About BJM Pumps
BJM Pumps®, headquartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, has been providing fluid handling solutions for industrial and municipal services since 1983. Over its thirty year history, BJM Pumps has grown quickly by supplying world class pumps and accessories, priced competitively, through its global network of stocking distributors. Learn more at www.bjmpumps.com.
About Denver Industrial Pumps
Since 1989, Denver Industrial Pumps has offered a complete line of products by various manufacturers, including pumps, mixers, motors, drives, controls, seals, filtration, and engineered packaged systems. Their products and services cover all major markets, and they support customers with application engineering, aftermarket pump repair and mechanical seal repair, fabrication, and on-site field services. Learn more at www.denverpumps.com