September 30th was the "big day" for our suction strainer flow test research project...a collaborative effort between Water Supply Innovations, LLC and GBW Associates, LLC. We tested 28 suction strainers in 35 flow tests over a period of about 7 hours at the Emergency Services Training Center location in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. From GBW Associates, LLC...Mark Davis served as project manager and Alan Butsch oversaw the physical operation of the pumper and the set-up of each strainer for testing. From Water Supply Innovations, LLC...Mike Guzy managed all logistical support and Henry Lovett collected all physical data on each strainer...including data on outlet size, hole size, and strainer dimensions. All of the work was completed without the presence of any manufacturer representative or manufacturer funding.
The Glen Gardner Fire Company provided an engine and a crew to support the project. Engine 12-2 was used: it is a 2003 Pierce pumper outfitted with a Hale Qmax 2250 gpm fire pump and is powered by a 515 hp motor. The pumper was chosen for the project because of its large body pump and big motor. We wanted "plenty of pump and motor" so that all of the suction strainers would be evaluated fairly.
Prior to the start of the individual tests, all pressure gauges and flow measurement devices were tested and confirmed for calibration. The key to successful research is knowing the controls and the variables. For this project the controls were as follows: the pumper, the discharge hose layout, the suction hose layout, the lift, and the depth at which the strainers were placed in the water. Thus, the only variable was the strainer in use at the time of each test. Elevation at the test site was 360.8 feet.
Strainer types that were tested included barrel, basket, box, floating, and low level. One ice strainer was also tested. Manufacturers represented in the project are Fol-Da-Tank, TFT, Firovac, Kochek, Ziamatic, Harrington, Akron, Elkhart, Red Head, Powhaten, American La France, plus a few unknowns. After flow testing on the suction strainers was complete, tests were conducted on three suction elbows and the use of the front suction inlet on the Glen Gardner pumper.
Currently, we are reviewing all of the data that was collected with plans to release an "official" looking written report sometime around December 1, 2017. Until then, we have some video clips and photos to share.
Many thanks go out to everyone who helped during test day and to those who helped fund the project through our GoFundMe program.