Sludge Bin and Rotary Discharger Part 2: Installation
Metal Fabrication & Installation Contractor 717-207-8985


Sludge Bin and Rotary Discharger Part 2: Installation
Sludge Bin and Rotary Discharger Part 2: Installation

PROJECT: Sludge Bin and Rotary Discharger Installation
PROJECT TYPE: Field Services – Installation
CLIENT: Potomac Water Filtration Plant

Potomac Water Filtration Plant withdraws and treats up to 400 million gallons of water each day and supplies water for more than 1.6 million customers surrounding their location in Potomac, Maryland. To continue providing quality services for their customers, they needed to add a new sludge bin with a rotary discharger, designed by RDP Technologies, a leader in water and wastewater technologies. (Read more about the sludge bin rotary discharger’s fabrication in Part 1.)

Once the sludge bin and discharger had been fabricated, Potomac Water Filtration Plant faced a new challenge: installing the new bin within the tight dimensions of an existing building. RDP Technologies recommended GSM Industrial’s Field Services team as a capable install contractor. GSM Industrial’s detailed installation plan accounted for the major challenges of the bin’s installation, including the bin’s unique design, the restrictions of the building, and the final installation location on the building’s second floor.


Like most installation projects, this one started with a drawing, showing tight dimensions between the large sludge bin and the second-floor destination. The drawings showed mere inches between the finished sludge bin and the ceiling beams. The biggest challenge, however, was the method of delivering the bin to the second story: a 5’3” by 15’ opening in the floor. Large, heavy pieces needed to be lifted through this opening, but there was no room for placing and operating a crane. Everything would need to be done by hand.


GSM Industrial organized the sludge bin into multiple pieces which would be fitted through the floor opening:

  • 9-ton, 13’ long sludge bin discharger
  • 3-ton cone section broken into multiple pieces
  • Multiple 1-ton drive and gate assemblies
  • Long side walls

GSM Industrial worked with a licensed professional engineer’s calculations to design a free-standing rigging frame. Using the GSM fabricated rigging frame and manual rigging equipment like chainfalls and a portable gantry, GSM Industrial’s team hoisted the heavy pieces through the hole by hand to the second floor. In some cases, they even attached the lifting equipment directly to the building’s steel to navigate the pieces into the appropriate location.

Once the pieces were in place, qualified welders began welding the pieces to OEM specifications. At the project’s finish, there was over 470 linear feet of out of position weld seam. The total installation took 715 field hours and was completed within the bid plan for hours and total cost.


GSM Industrial’s field services crews are experienced in working in diverse industries on wide-ranging projects. The average tenure of a GSM Industrial field service employee is 11.5 years, during which time they deepen technical skills and earn required certifications for safety and equipment operations. The two team members who performed the complicated out of position welds were qualified and certified according to AWS standards. (See more about our AWS Certifications.)


GSM Industrial installed the several-ton sludge bin with rotary discharger on the second story of a building, using hand rigging equipment to navigate each piece through an opening in the floor. The field services team worked within tight dimensions, managing the installation without needing to alter the design to fit the space. Even though the work was done during the COVID-19 pandemic, GSM Industrial completed the installation on time and within increased safety protocols.

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