A total of 68 grinder pumps (three different models) was selected for Egypt’s biggest commercial project.

In 2011, the AMER Group started construction on the Porto Cairo Mall in Cairo, Egypt. The real estate developer, which offers mixed-use, family-oriented destinations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, planned the mall as a wide retail and commercial complex that was easily accessible to city residents. The mall is in the first settlement area beside the JW Marriot and within quick driving distance from Heliopolis, Maadi and the Cairo International Airport.

The development incorporated 180 different shopping venues. The 34,500-square-foot mall offers a six-screen cinema, the Sky Café, a food court and several international restaurants. The current mall area allows parking capacity for 1,000 cars.

The design infrastructure of the mall—considered at the time the biggest commercial project in Egypt—included sewage pumps for the development and plumbing services, as well as drinking water and irrigation booster pumps. The AMER Group contracted with DMG Contracting (DMG) and selected SHAKER Consulting Group (SGC) for the project design. Long-term clogging, durability and a demanding timeline were all concerns for DMG as the company selected sewage pumps for the project.

Porto Cairo MallEntrance to Porto Cairo Mall in Egypt (Article images courtesy of Crane Pumps & Systems)

Custom Features

Mohamed Emam, sales professional for AFAAQ Co., contacted DMG to offer a customized centrifugal grinder pump for the Porto Cairo Mall project. The grinder and centrifugal pump designs feature specific advantages for handling sewage on large developments. A grinder pump reduces wastewater particulates to slurry that can flow through small-diameter pipes. Centrifugal pump designs use dual-stage technology to meet higher pressure demands.

The customized grinder pump came with a choice of basin configurations and control panel and accessory options to meet the project’s needs. The cast-iron vortex impeller handles sewage slurry without clogging. The radial grinder cutter staggers its slicing action to cut with less horsepower and more efficiency. The specialized, staggered slicing helps prevent clogging with particularly troublesome solids in the slurry, such as plastic, rubber, sanitary napkins, disposable diapers and clothing.

Grinder Pump Advantage

Tarek Ramadan, senior plumbing designer with SCG, said a customized grinder pump was the right choice for the Porto Cairo Mall.

“I was impressed with the quality of the products delivered, as well as the accessories supplied fully imported from the U.S.,” he said. “The grinding option is a plus for such complex projects.”

Lift station with solids-handling pumpA lift station with a solids-handling pump that serves the Porto Cairo Mall

Three grinder pump models were selected for the project. A total of 68 grinder pumps were installed in 34 sewage pits. The pump models differ in horsepower (HP), from 1.1 and 1.7 to 2.8 HP. The 18 2.8-HP grinder pumps installed on the mall site have a capacity of 80 gallons per minute (gpm). Three solids-handling submersible pumps and two booster sets were also provided. The 4-inch solids-handling pumps have a capacity of 300 gpm.

AFAAQ offered free installation and commission services to the contractor. The sewage pits were mapped and sized for value, and the operation sequence for all duplex sets of submersible pumps was implemented.

In the main sewage tank, a reliable solids-handling pump had to move up to 3 inches of solids without clogging. The selected pump featured breakaway fittings for easy maintenance. The fittings consist of a base elbow and slide rail adapter with brackets. Pumps with breakaway fittings can essentially slide up and down the rails, providing easy installation and removal of solids-handling and sewage ejector pumps in permanent wet-well installations. The pumps do not need to be unbolted, keeping operators out of the lift station.

The pumps also include a cord that allows easy changes of both voltage and cord length without motor entry.

Consistent Value

The selected grinder pumps saved time and money during the mall’s construction and continue to offer value on the site. Less clogging and easy access to solids-handling pumps minimize maintenance problems and reduce service time. The developer, who had been a customer with a different manufacturer for a decade, explored new designs thanks to the performance and maintenance features that were offered.