The latest ABS report revealed that 87 percent of Australians live within 50km of the coast. While this enables an enviable lifestyle, there are adverse environmental conditions that need to be managed. One of the most important considerations is the impact of mud, grit and dirt that pollute Australia’s potable and wastewater systems.

It is a challenge for councils, wastewater treatment, and industrial plants to keep out these contaminants. It is far better to prevent grit from entering the system before it can cause serious problems to equipment and machinery.

To capture the widest range of grit particle sizes in an efficient and reliable manner, CST Wastewater Solutions is introducing new Smith & Loveless INVORSOR technology to its PISTA grit removal range available across Australia. CST is the exclusive authorised distributor for Smith & Loveless in Australia.

For over 75 years, Smith & Loveless has been delivering precision engineered water and wastewater treatment and pumping systems. The US-headquartered company’s newly released INVORSOR vortex grit removal system harnesses the advantages of two particle capture methods: enhanced settling by inclined plates meeting a defined surface overflow rate and hydraulic forced vortex grit removal. 

“The result is an ultrafine grit removal of 95 percent down to 75 microns, at low, average or peak flows with no derating,” said Michael Bambridge, Managing Director, CST Wastewater Solutions. 

INVORSOR advantages

To remove 75-micron particles, the INVORSOR features an additional stage. Using computational fluid dynamics, Smith & Loveless incorporated inclined plates above the vortex to break the vortex and create a sedimentation step in low flow conditions.

Left unchecked, grit build-ups create issues throughout the entire wastewater process. The removal of 75-micron particles is important to prevent damage to delicate membrane bioreactors. Grit in water and wastewater flows in plants leads to wear, blockages, breakdowns, and flooding. Once that happens, plant staff need to engage in hazardous recovery operations as they are on the frontline and tasked with minimising downtime and service interruptions. 

“Compared to other fine particle grit removal systems, the INVORSOR delivers lower capital and operational costs, larger capacity in individual units, and greater design flexibility for inlet-outlet design options,” Mr Bambridge said.

“It also offers a high surface area-to-volume ratio to generate consistent fine grit capture during low flow, daily flow and peak flow conditions of up to 190,000m³/d in single units.”

What’s in a name?

The term INVORSOR comes from INclined plates, VORtex, Surface Overflow Rate, all of which come together to deliver better capture rates, less grit downstream, and less maintenance.

The flow enters the INVORSOR tangentially into the flat floor vortex zone. Here, multiple forces, including centrifugal, radial, and buoyancy, cause large, medium, and fine grit particles to move along the chamber floor and separate from the flow stream into the lower grit storage hopper. 

The flow continues to the inclined cones in the upper chamber. There, the surface area provided by the inclined cones induces ultrafine particle removal. The flow, with grit removed, exits through the outlet, which can be placed at nearly any direction during the design phase. The technology is designed to benefit utilities and industrial users in flood-prone regions, as well as industrial users.

“One of the major advantages of the PISTA grit removal technology in local conditions is its ability to function over a wide turndown range.” 

Turndown is the range over which a system can fully perform. It is an equation that is particularly important in Australia, which is prone to both drought and flooding.

“In addition to its outstanding overall performance, PISTA INVORSOR’s ability to remove grit down to 75 microns, gives it the capability to remove dirt, fine silt, and grit solids from flooded waterways.” 

Industry-leading results in Australia and overseas

CST’s engineering solutions incorporating the technology are also designed to benefit utilities in flood-prone regions, as well as industries (such as eco-tourism and resources) seeking low maintenance solutions for accommodation development in remote, maritime, ecologically, or environmentally sensitive areas.

Smith & Loveless’ performance testing of the system showcases actual PISTA hydraulic forced vortex systems, in the US and globally, achieving its industry-leading 95 percent grit removal across all flows. These results confirm impressive results achieved in Australia, said Bambridge, whose company has installed the system in flood-prone and sandy parts of Australia.

The tests show that, while competing technologies de-rate efficiencies at peak flows, the Smith & Loveless PISTA range consistently delivered when tested in a variety of real conditions.

“CST Wastewater Solutions’ high performance inlet screening and Smith & Loveless’ grit removal technology are proven in service under local conditions,” Mr Bambridge said.

“They help eliminate the build-up of grit in downstream aeration basins and sludge digesters, reducing damage to downstream equipment from abrasion.”

The combination of the two solutions enhances the reliability of wastewater treatment plants while reducing the likelihood of flooding and the associated OH&S hazards involved in unclogging systems. It also helps to prevent environmental spills from causing blocked and flooded systems.

Environmental spills can be a major source of waterway pollution, with foul-smelling and harmful effluent from water and wastewater systems flowing into groundwater, local waterways, and marine environments. Remedying this is an expensive, dirty, and thankless task and prevention is better than the cure.

“PISTA already incorporates many engineering and cost saving considerations and INVORSOR further enhances the world’s best grit removal system.” 

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by CST Wastewater Solutions. For more information, visit


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