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Non - clog pumps? Differences, utilization queries!

Can the difference between normal submersible pump and non clog pump be illustrated? Can  non-clog pumps handle muddy water or water containing suspended or dissolved material up to 100mm size?

We are facing a problem while draining the sewage water plus storm water. The effluent contains plastic bags and pieces of solids. Current are gettiing choked due to solids and sludge sedimentation.  Can non-clog pumps help in this scenario?

Vijay Ahire




Dear Vijay Ahire,

The submersible pumps are Radial flow and mixed flow types. Basically they differ in the construction of Pump type. The mixed flow has bowl type structure, like a small bowl throwing out water and the radial flow are straight radial with water gushing out asymptotically because of spiral effect.
Bur special pumps of mixed flow that can accommodate are available in Coimbatore town which is well known for motor / pump manufacturing.

The Coimbatore foundries can design them what ever type of pump with whatever type of intake diameter and outgo diameter of solid waste mixed in waste water or slurry water. While making enquiry they may use slurry pump and chemical flow pumps. The submersible centrifugal slurry pumps are suitable to your client. However the intake and outgo have to be designed to suit to your client’s need. This can throw away the plastic bag and slurry. Solid converted as fluids can be thrown out but pure solid has to be washed away, if the size is big or weight.
If they move down to Coimbatore and make enquiry even with a small pump manufacturing foundries they will get what that suits to them. The submersible centrifugal pump can throw away all the muddy water and sludge sedimentation provided it is designed to suit to your client need.

With regards,

A. Raja Mohamad


Dear Vijay Ahire,

Pumps for moving viscous fluids, corrosive and abrasive suspensions, slurry and sludge, are all special purpose pumps. Kirloskar Pneumatic used to make a "Sump Pump" many yeas ago, and it found some use in dewatering old open wells. A normal submersible pump is not designed for such applications.

Diaphragm pumps are actually quite good for this kind of an application. As an immediate (an temporary) solution, it is relatively easy to make out of an used car tyre and two steel disks, if the heads are low. The ability not to get clogged would depend mainly on the size of the inlet and outlet and the extent to which the valves would allow the suspended solids to pass through. They can also be reciprocatory piston pumps and Mud pumps on rotary drilling rigs are a very good example of this kind of a pump.

Searching for pumps in chemical, mining and shipping applications might give some options. A quick look at "Sludge Pumps" on Google produced some interesting results.


Raj Kumar Daw
Consultant, WASH
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Abuja, Nigeria


Dear Vijay Ahire,

Heavy duty Non Clog Sewage Submersible Pumps can be used for this purpose.

Please follow the attached file.Non Clog Pump

Thank you,

S. Halder
Assistant Engineer (Agri- Irri)
Water Investigation & Development Department
Government of West Bengal


Dear Vijay Ahire,

But as you want to get rid off the particles of around 100 mm size, I doubt if it is possible without separating. If particles of 10-15 mm, non priming pumps can be deployed for operating with ease in such condition. However such pumps are mostly suction types and are unable to lift water or slurry beyond a depth of 7 meters. Please let me inform your feedback.

With regards

Nirad Ch. Nayak
Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)


Dear Mr Vijay Ahire,

Both submersible as well as non submersible type non clog pumps are available, but no pump really can handle plastic bags etc..
Depending on the impeller type, size of solids a pump can handle varies, but when it comes to plastic sheets bags, etc.. these then to get wound around the shaft or sometime land up getting stuck in the outlet or inlet portions..
But it is doubtful that a particle size of 100 mm will be removed with any normal non clogging pump...

For such high particle size one can use a vacuum pump and tank system.. but this cannot be installed where there is an on line de-watering requirement.

The only solution to plastic is to manually get rid of it, and as a prevention one should install a strainer in the inlet area of the collecting chamber so that no plastic gets into the pump body.

Hope this helps you in your de-watering problems..

Dr Anil Lawani
Well & Water Works, Pune

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