A Breakdown is not an option in Budapest

In August 2015, Hungary experienced the heaviest rainfall ever recorded. Water was pouring down in huge measures. In the capital city, Budapest, more than 80 millimetres came down in just one hour.

“During one day, we had more break downs in our system, than we normally do in two years. More than 50. The pumps, however, were all operating fine,” says György Palkó.

He is the Managing Director for Budapest Canalization Works, and he has played a pivotal part in finding the right partners to work with – in the case of the pumps, it was Grundfos.

The two companies have entered a close collaboration equipping Budapest Canalization Works with a wide range of pumps, including large KPL propeller pumps and a series of other water, wastewater and dosing pumps and a service deal as well.

“We do not simply want to buy a pump. We want to buy a solution. We want durable, reliable products and access to knowledgeable people who can keep them running. This, we’ve got through our cooperation with Grundfos,” adds György Palkó.


The biggest in town
One of the places, where the pumps and service agreement are put to work is at the pumping station in the Ferencváros area in central Budapest. Klincsek Kálmán is managing the station, and for him, breakdowns are unacceptable and preparing for worst-case scenario comes naturally.

“If our pumps break down, it can result in flooding. It could ruin people’s homes, create traffic jams and paralyze the city. Therefore, we are concerned about using durable equipment with a long lifetime. We need to know that things work,” he says.

The station is the oldest and largest in the city, and roughly 500,000 Budapestians rely on it for removing their sewage and for handling rain water and preventing flooding. This makes it a very important spot in the Budapest Canalization Works network. The city of Budapest and Veolia jointly own the company, and it serves the more than 1.7 million people living in Budapest.

“The people depend on us, and they don’t want to hear about us. They want us to do our job without issues. This corresponds to what we expect from our partners,” says György Palkó.

A great partnership
The well-oiled partnership with the Hungarian wastewater experts is held at a very high value at Grundfos. The company’s Hungarian subsidiary has worked tirelessly in establishing the great connection and is seeing multiple advantages from the collaboration.

“They set the bar high and demand the highest commitment and quality from their partners. By being close to them through our service agreement and other business partnerships, we get to know their needs as they evolve and we get an even better chance of fulfilling them now and in the future,” says Éva Pásztor, SECA Area Water Utility Manager at Grundfos.

The service contract runs for two years with a possibility of extending it and involves value-added renovation, ad-hoc repair and troubleshooting.