Fix the pumps

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


On July 8, 2011, the Corps finally started turning over the records on the rebuilding of the hydraulic pumps at all three outfall canal sites. I had requested these documents through the Freedom of Information Act over a year before. In the interim, there were a number of additional repairs, and many documents associated with those actions were also given to me.

As a result, I am currently heavily editing my previous entries about the pump fixes, adding in pictures and descriptions of the repairs taken from Corps contract actions and reports written by the pump repair shop, Conhagen, Inc, located in Kenner, LA.

Previously, I had only received a single Conhagen report which covered the repair of two pumps. I now have an additional nine reports documenting the repairs of 15 other pumps.

Here's links to the reports:

17th Street pump W10 and bridge pumps #1 and #6 (May-July, 2009) - no Conhagen report generated because the Corps did the work themselves

17th Street pumps E5, E7, W8 and W9 (July-September, 2009) (report received previously)

17th Street pumps W5 and W6 (February-March, 2010)

17th Street pumps E1 and E2 (March-April, 2010)

London Avenue pumps E3 and E4 (March-April, 2010)

17th Street pumps E6 and E8 (April-June, 2010)

London Avenue pumps W3 and W4 (April-June, 2010)

17th Street pump W1 (June-July, 2010)

London Avenue pump W1 (July-August, 2010)

Orleans Avenue pump W4 (October-November, 2010)

London Avenue pumps E2 and E6 (December, 2010 - January, 2011)

London Avenue pumps E1 and E5 (March-April, 2011)

London Avenue pumps W5 and W6 (April-May, 2011)

17th Street pumps W4 and W7 (March-May, 2011)

17th Street pumps E3 and E4 (May-June, 2011)

17th Street pump W8 (May-June, 2011)

17th Street pump W9 (July, 2011 - ?) - pump currently under repair.

Sharp eyed readers will notice the last two pumps, W8 and W9 at 17th Street, had supposedly already been rebuilt in 2009. However, those rebuilds only replaced a few of the carbon steel pipes, not all of them. They also didn't touch the bearings, Rineer motors or any moving parts. Unsurprisingly, these pumps have failed again, this time from the unrepaired parts.

The entries I'm updating or have already updated include:

Imminent, originally posted May 13, 2010

This year's scramble, originally posted June 3, 2010

Worse than previously known, originally posted June 11, 2010

The latest on lakefront pump repairs, originally posted March 23, 2011

The 2011 pump rebuild scramble, originally posted May 9, 2011

Brief update on London Avenue pumps, originally posted June 24, 2011

Other posts might also get updated or revised. And there will be coming posts on the current repairs, or "re-repairs" as it were.

In the meantime, here's some photos from the newly received reports...

A hole rusted straight through one of the oil coolers on pump W5 or W6 at 17th Street (report here):

Rust inside the supposedly sealed bearing housing on pump W5 or W6 at 17th Street (report here):

Extremely severe rust on London Avenue pump E4 oil cooler and attached piping (report here):

Identical corrosion on 17th Street pump W1 (report here):

Chunks missing from inlet suction bell on Orleans Avenue pump W4, due to corrosion (report here):

Other chunks missing from inlet suction bell on 17th Street pump E6 (report here):

More chunks missing from vanes inside suction bell on 17th Street pump E2 (report here):

Rusty Rineer hydraulic motor and attached piping on London Avenue pump E2 (report here):

Similarly rusty Rineer motor and piping on Orleans Avenue pump W4 (report here):

There's much more where that came from. But the important thing to remember is this: there are currently at least 16 pumps in the water which have had inadequate or no repairs to address these problems, which were evident after just two years in the canals. That includes 9 of the 10 pumps at the Orleans Avenue gates. Those 16 pumps have been in the canals for over four years now, and the only reason the Corps pulls them out is if they spring an oil leak.



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