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September 1, 2020

Wasa opposed to submersible pumps at underpass

Lahore

September 1, 2020

LAHORE:Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has asked Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to abstain from installing submersible water pumps at the under-construction Firdous Market underpass.

During the recent rains, Wasa had witnessed a bitter experience with similar type of pumps at Farooq Ganj underpass, which submerged in rainwater as solid waste stuck in one of the three pumps at the underpass resulting in accumulation of rainwater and closure of the underpass for hours.

Sources in Wasa claimed that submersible pumps were obsolete technology and were hard to maintain during rains. They said solid waste with rainwater went into the pumps and hampered their working.

“What happened at Farooq Ganj may happen at Capt Mobin Shaheed Underpass, Gulberg,” said a senior Wasa official adding submersible pumps were installed at this underpass while LDA was again doing the same mistake at Firdous Market underpass.

Talking about disadvantages of submersible pumps, he said the seals of these pumps can become corroded with time. When that happens, water seeps into the motor, rendering it useless until it is repaired. Also, that seal makes the submersible pump a bit difficult to get into for repairs.

He said the other main disadvantage of these pumps is that one pump does not fit all uses. Single stage pumps are used for most home and light industrial pumping. This includes aquarium filters, sewage pumping, or sump pumps for drainage. Multiple stage pumps are used for anything underground, such as water wells or oil wells. Also, pumps are made to work with thin liquids like water, or thick ones like sewage. He added that the water around a submersible pump actually helps to cool the motor and if it is used out of water, it can overheat.

“We have written letters to LDA regarding both Capt Mobin Shaheed Underpass and Firdous Market underpass,” said Aslam Niazi, Wasa’s Deputy Managing Director (Operations).

Wasa MD Syed Zahid Aziz said that LDA should consult with Wasa before installing water pumps in any of its projects because after taking over the project Wasa has to face the real issues. He said submersible pumps were hard to repair during the accumulation of rainwater. “Horizontal pumps are easy to repair and needs less maintenance,” he said adding the pump can be replaced in case of fault during rain.

On the other hand, LDA’s Chief Engineer Habibullah Randhawa said that LDA had responded about submersible pumps to Wasa through NESPAK in detail. He claimed that after taking over Capt Mobin Shaheed underpass, Wasa didn’t clean the pumps and he recently got cleaned the pumps by his own team. Favouring the submersible pumps, he said if maintained properly, these pumps are life long.