Wednesday, May 10, 2006


For the last couple weeks I've been managing another project for Berkeley Engineering. This time we replaced three scum-skimmers. Yes that's what they are called & that is what they do, they rotate and skim the top of a tank of sewage, knocking the floaters over the edge of a steel "beach" plate and into a trench that gets drained out every hour. Here's one of the old steel scum-skimmers after we removed it:

Every step of this project was a pain in the ass; nothing but problems of one sort or another. But we finally got it all finished. Here's a plastic collar that we had to fabricate because the original was too thick to fit:

One of the original shafts had been misaligned when it was installed in 1978. We had to correct the alignment when we installed the new shaft. Here's Bernie finding the new location of the center of shaft:

Here we are lowering the largest new skimmer shaft into place:

Here it is installed, with one of the shorter shafts sitting next to it. Note that these aren't steel like the old ones; these are fiberglass with stainless steel stubs at each end. Even so, they weight about 500 lbs each.

Once the shafts are lowered into position, all the bearings, fittings, gears & chains etc. have to be installed & tinkered with:

We're finally finished & now I just have to meet with the engineer who is managing the project for the client. I'm really glad it's over.

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