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Research into the Uses of Submersible Pumps with Self-Cleaning Filters and Intakes.

Aiden G Patch


Submersible Pumps with Self-cleaning Intake Filters

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning intake filters are an advanced pumping solution designed to handle dirty and contaminated water efficiently. These filter pumps integrate self-cleaning filters that prevent blockages and maintain optimal pump performance. This report explores the various applications and benefits of these innovative submersible pumps.

Applications Making use of Submersible Pumps with Self-Cleaning Filter Intakes

1. Water Treatment and Wastewater Management Filter Pumps

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning intakes are extensively used in water treatment works and wastewater management. They are ideal for filtering wash water, removing debris large enough to clog spray bars and wash-water nozzles. 

Ideal for removing suspended solids, the filter pumps enable continuous low maintenance sampling for water monitoring and analysis. This is critical in both water treatment plants and waste water treatment works for ensuring that final effluent is clean and suitable for discharge and disposal.

The self-cleaning feature prevents the Filterpump™ pump inlet from blocking, and therefore the pump from blocking,  which is crucial for maintaining continuous operation in these environments.

Note, these types of self-cleaning filter pump are not suitable for use in raw sewage or other water sources containing grease, fats and oils.

2. Filter Pumps for Agriculture and Irrigation

Filter pumps are valuable in agricultural settings, particularly for irrigation or for pumping agricultural and dairy run-off back to land. 

They help in managing farm dirty water systems by filtering out debris and particulate from lagoons and settlement tanks as they pump. Pumping and filtering are combined so that irrigators and sprayers can water without becoming blocked.

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning filters are a boon for raw water irrigation. They allow the use of high-pressure centrifugal pumps in difficult water conditions – such as lakes, ponds and rivers that may become choked with weed or litter. The self-cleaning filter on the Filterpump™ pump intake protects the pump and connected equipment, meaning less stoppage and more efficient irrigation.

3. Filter pumps for Industrial Process Water

In manufacturing and other industrial settings, filter pumps are used to filter out particles and contaminants from process fluids. While often important for maintaining quality and consistency of the products, they are equally important for water recycling and re-use. 

Many industrial processes use high volumes of water, for example in the food industry for produce washing.  Filter pumps allow water to be re-used and recycled, and screened ahead of disposal. They help in maintaining clean water for various industrial processes, reducing downtime and maintenance costs

The ability to pump and simultaneously filter water down to as low as  50 microns without blocking is particularly beneficial for dosing systems and monitoring water quality.

4. Environmental and Ecological Management

Filter pumps with a correctly sized intake mesh can play a significant role in environmental management and in protecting aquatic life.  Wetland management often requires water to be circulated in environmentally sensitive areas.  Moving raw water is often subject to environmental regulation for the protection of fish and eels.

Filterpump™ submersible pumps with self-cleaning filters have a larger diameter intake than a typical basic submersible  pump. This allows for a lower intake velocity through the self-cleaning filter mesh. The low intake velocity design is gentle on aquatic organisms, making these pumps suitable for use in both freshwater and seawater environments where aquatic and marine life needs to be protected.

5. Cooling Water and Heat Pump Systems

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning intakes can be used to supply cooling systems and to pump water in open loop water source heat pump systems. Because these filter pumps filter the inlet water as they pump, they help to prevent blockages caused by debris, weeds, or other detritus. This ensures the efficient operation of heating and cooling systems and prevents potentially expensive damage to heat exchange equipment that may be caused by reduced flowrates or a build-up of particulate.

Pumping and filtering directly from a water source provides a first line of protection to heat pumps and heat exchangers, and extends the life of secondary and tertiary filters.

The continuous automatic backwash within filter pumps keeps their intake screen clear to keep water flowing. Maintenance and running costs are reduced.

The difference between a Rotorflush and any other submersible pump

Benefits of Filter Pumps with Self-Cleaning Filter Intakes

1. Enhanced Pump Efficiency

The self-cleaning intake screens built into filter pumps continuously drive debris away from the filter mesh, preventing blockage and reducing the risk of the pump dry-running. This can extend the life of the pump and decrease the effort and cost of maintaining it.

Having a submersible pump with a continuously back-washed intake screen is particularly beneficial for maintaining a consistent flow rate in water with high levels of suspended solids.

2. Reduced Maintenance and Operational Costs

By preventing blockages and reducing the need for manual cleaning, filterpumps with self-cleaning filters in their intake save time and money. The automated cleaning process minimizes downtime and ensures more consistent operation.

This makes them more economical to run in contaminated and dirty water.

3. Protection of Equipment

Self-cleaning intake screens protect pumps and other equipment from damage caused by debris and suspended solids. For example, submersible pump motors can be damaged by dry running (i.e. running with no flow through the pump to cool the motor) if the impellers get choked or then intake is blocked.

Downstream equipment can be affected – irrigation and nozzles, wash water spray bars, process equipment can also suffer from clogging when pumping unscreened contaminated water. While this may not directly damage equipment, crops, secondary equipment and process product could be affected.

The robust design of the self-cleaning screens integral to these submersible filter pumps ensures reliable performance even in harsh conditions.  This extends the lifespan of the equipment and reduces the frequency of inspection and possible repairs.

4. Environmental Benefits

These pumps help in conserving aquatic life by preventing debris entrainment and impingement on the screens. The low approach velocity and even flow distribution across the screen surface protect fish, elver populations and other aquatic organisms.

Submersible filterpumps with self-cleaning filters can be used to comply with UK and EU Regulations for the Protection of Eels and to meet EPA rule 316(b) requirements for cooling water intakes. 

This makes them a sustainable choice for water management systems.

5. Versatility and Adaptability

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning filter intakes are versatile and can be used in various applications, from agricultural irrigation to industrial processes and environmental management. They can adapt to fluctuating levels of solid contamination in the water, ensuring reliable performance in different settings.

Their straight forward design, the fact that pumping and filtering are combined in a single easy to install submersible pump make them useful across many industrial sectors and for multiple applications involving less than clean water.

In Conclusion…

Submersible pumps with self-cleaning filters are fast-becoming essential tools for managing dirty and contaminated water in various situations. Their ability to prevent blockages, enhance pump efficiency, and protect equipment makes them invaluable in water treatment, agriculture, industry, and for environmental management. 

The continuous self-cleaning feature of filter pumps is designed for reliable and efficient operation, reducing maintenance costs, stoppage time and contributing to environmental sustainability.

Haematopus longirostris chatting about self-cleaning filters

Haematopus longirostris chatting about self-cleaning filters

Picture Author JJ Harrison licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license


This Content was generated with reference to:

Rotorflush Filters Ltd. "Submersible Filterpumps™ with Self-cleaning Intakes." 

Whisper Pumps. "Rotorflush Submersible Pumps | Submersible Sewage Pump Supplier." 

Rotorflush. "Filterpumps™ | Submersible Pumps with self-cleaning filters." 

Rotorflush. "UK Water Industry is discovering the benefits of Rotorflush filters." 

William Reid LTD. "ISF - Self Cleaning Pump Intake Screen." 

Pump Industry Magazine. "Innovation in self-cleaning pump intake screens." 

ResearchHub. "Increasing the operating time of electrical submersible pumps by using self-cleaning filters." 

Sungov Engineering. "Embracing Productivity: The Evolution and Advantages of Self-Cleaning Water Filtration Systems." 

Commercial Filtration Supply. "When to Use Self Cleaning Strainers". 

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