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Sustainable Solution at St Francis Links

  • A total of 3000kWh saved a month on the potable water booster pump set
  • 4 hours day labour saved for the boreholes
  • Lower hours of maintenance for the wastewater pumps

Like many Estates in South Africa, St Francis Links is located in an area with some water challenges. Indeed the security of potable water has been a concern for the Estate, with the low levels of dams in the area.

St Francis Link works constantly to solve these challenges around securing a sustainable water supply, thanks to an excellent relationship with Grundfos and Waterhouse Trading. St Francis Links says that thanks to their partnerships, their water security is an ongoing success, one which they are very proud of. 

Background

St Francis Links was established on 450 hectares in 2006 with a Jack Nicklaus Signature course designed as the hub of the estate. Over the years, the Estate reports that it has grown financially and, with continued new investment, despite the challenge of the international recession in the late ’00s.

Today the St Francis Links golf course is regarded as one of the best in the country: the estate component is architecturally designed to balance and not detract from the course and the natural beauty, which is evident in the many varieties of natural, and in some cases, rare species of fynbos.

Located an hour from Port Elizabeth in a small village known as St Francis Bay, The Links has attracted young families and the forever-young to enjoy the efficient and quality offerings in place.

Moreover, the St Francis Links made the decision to become more self-sustaining as part of their services provided to the residents of the Estate.

St Francis Link says: “It should be noted that we are “the municipality” by providing everything from potable water to electricity to recycling and Wi-Fi. “By seeking quality solutions for the delivery of potable water to irrigating our championship course in the most economical way, the relationship with Waterhouse Trading and Grundfos has grown from strength to strength.

Today we are regarded as one of the top-10 Estates in South Africa because of our forward-thinking and long-term planning with sound reserves, great lifestyle choices and effective access control.

 

The Challenge:

Wastewater

  • The main sewer pump station had two 48kW motors, and the pumps were not efficient and used high volumes of energy. These pumps would also fail on a regular basis.
  • Another smaller wastewater pump station was high maintenance as the pumps were continually being blocked with rags and other solids.

Boreholes

  • A total of 15 boreholes feed the main irrigation dam for water. These boreholes had an outdated telemetry system by means of radios and were unreliable in the information that came to the central control unit.
  • Also, there were multiple pump failures as cheaper versions of pumps were installed.

Potable Water

  • The Estate is supplied with potable water from a 3.6ML reservoir by means of a booster pump station. There were three 22kW motors with pumps originally installed, but only one was on a variable speed drive (VSD) and never seemed to stop operating.
  • The energy consumed was high.
  • Due to the storage of water in a large reservoir, no free chlorine was being read in the supply water. As a result, a solution had to be urgently found.
  • Due to drought conditions in the area, a solution had to be found in order to produce potable water from a high yield borehole in order to secure water for the Estate’s residents and operations.

 

Replacing the 15 borehole pumps with Grundfos SP pumps

 

The solutions

Wastewater

  • The main sewer was equipped with two Grundfos 28.5kW SLV pumps, together with two CUE drives to prevent water hammer. The new pumps are more energy-efficient and produce the same results as the older 48kW pumps.
  • The smaller pump station is now equipped with two SEG Cutter Grinder pumps, and the issue of blockages has been resolved.

Boreholes

  • The 15 boreholes have been equipped with MP204 control units in conjunction with the GRM CIU 271 units. The system is online and is far more reliable than the older system that was in place.
  • No more labour is needed to check the boreholes every day as the information is available online.
  • Furthermore, these borehole pumps have all been replaced with Grundfos SP Pumps.

Potable Water

  • A new Grundfos MPCE 2 Hydro Booster Pump set has been installed in place of the older pumps and motors.
  • The pumps are all variable speed and the energy savings have justified the purchase of the new pump set.
  • Grundfos was able to supply their Oxiperm unit to supplement the water supply with chlorine dioxide, thus resolving the issue of the free chlorine in the water. The unit is safe to operate as compared to operating gas chlorine systems.
  • Grundfos supplied pumps and dosing equipment for our water treatment works. On the borehole water that is fed to the plant, a new SP Pump was installed in combination with a CUE drive to manage the pressure to the plant.

 

The impact the projects had on people and the environment

The installations solved the challenges associated with water security on the Estate, while helping make the staff’s lives easier: requiring fewer man-hours, saving energy and operating more efficiently. The enormous burden of physically checking pumps every day is now a thing of the past with the intelligence of the GRM.

Concludes the St Francis Links team: “The backup service locally is excellent from Grundfos, and parts arrive within a day or two. The relationship with the local Grundfos partner Waterhouse Trading has grown over 11 years, and we are pleased to have partnered with them through the evolution of their solutions to help this estate become even better. We will continue to look to Grundfos for solutions as we continue to grow.”