Case Study

Headworks Bar Screen Just Keeps On Running In Topeka, KS

Headworks Bar Screen Just Keeps On Running In Topeka, KS

Headworks International has installations all over the United States and in over 40 other countries.  We are always interested to learn about the community our equipment serves.  One interesting place is Topeka, Kansas.

As the United States grew in the mid-1800s, the West was settled by families heading west on the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri.  On their path, they had to cross the Kansas River.  There seems to be some controversy regarding how many brothers started the first ferry to cross the Kaw River, but whether it was three or four, apparently the brothers had each married Native American women from the Kanza tribe and settled in the area.  They established a ferry crossing approximately 60 miles from Independence.  As traffic grew on the Oregon Trail, the military built a new road that also crossed there and it became a regular stop for steamboats on the river taking grain east and bringing finished goods west into the new territory. 

Composite image of the Oregon Trail, western states, and Topeka, Kansas, USA

The area became settled over time and grew to become Topeka, the capital of the state of Kansas when it was admitted to the Union in 1861 as the 34th state.  The population of Topeka has grown steadily and it is home to a variety of industries including food and beverage, tire manufacturing, healthcare, finance and insurance and, of course, government as it is still the state’s capital.

The main wastewater treatment plant in Topeka is the Oakland Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The plant treats a flow of 50 million gallons per day.  The inlet channel to the facility is 5 ft wide with a 10ft channel depth.  The plant had installed a climber type screen to protect the headworks many years ago, and in the year 2000 it was clear that it needed to be replaced.  The operators were spending more time maintaining it than operating it and the poor functioning of the screen led to significant problems in downstream operations.

As the operators looked at potential replacements, the City worked with an engineering firm who evaluated the state of the art for screening technologies.  It was evident that multi-rake bar screens would offer the most effective solution.  After completing an evaluation of design options from several suppliers, in 2002 the City selected a Headworks MS1 bar screen with ¼” spacing for the replacement.  Having only a single channel in operation at the plant, it was critical that whatever they installed worked effortlessly and with minimal maintenance.  (With more than one channel, wastewater treatment plants can shut down one channel for maintenance, if necessary, while the sewage continues to flow through the remaining channels into the plant.)

In the nearly fifteen years the screen has been operating, the only maintenance done was some minimal work on the rubber seals and scraper and normal tensioning of the chains.  An initial concern for the operators was the lower sprocket, but they have never had to even inspect it!  Mr. Bernie Thompson, the lead mechanic at the site was there when this screen was installed and he says: “We love this screen; it has never given us any issues.  It just keeps on running and running.” 

Headworks is known for providing equipment that operators love because it is essentially maintenance-free.  If your operators want to be sure that the headworks of your plant runs smoothly and doesn’t cause you any problems downstream, there is no one else to contact other than Headworks International!   If your team is considering upgrading the screens at your wastewater treatment facility, start by calling the market leader in the business. Our sales engineers at +1-713-647-6667 or and our local manufacturers' representatives have tackled some of the most challenging applications in the world and are sure to have a solution for you!