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Wastewater Treatment Plant Aeration Basin Manifold Air Leak Repair

PROJECT TITLE: Wastewater Treatment Plant Aeration Basin Manifold Air Leak Repair


CLIENT: Pork Processing Plant


Our client, a pork processing plant wastewater treatment facility, had an air leak in the manifold that distributes air to “stones” that oxygenate the water in its aerobic treatment basin.

They called Bulldog Diving because we specialize in working on this style of aerobic wastewater treatment system, without shutting down the airflow. This avoids impacting the wastewater treatment process, which could potentially cause more problems than the original issue.


The main factor in any aeration basin air leak repair is to make sure the work restores airflow to the rest of the aeration grid. We located and inspected the problem area and found the air leak. Once we do this, we then devise a solution most appropriate to the problem, whether it be a replacement of parts, repair to existing parts, or permanently capping/plugging a portion of the damaged equipment, to isolate that section of the plant from the rest, so it doesn’t create a damage cascade effect.

Besides the typical challenges of commercial diving, aeration tanks require our divers to deal with limited to zero visibility conditions; time and pressure issues; and—especially in aeration systems—heat. Working in these live/running conditions, with continuous airflow, creates strong currents that push and pull the diver around, making the repairs more difficult and time-consuming.

After inspecting the damaged area, our diver determined that an O-ring was blown out on an aeration stone, and the retaining ring would need to be properly retightened.

The client mentioned a gate valve in the same basin, which was not operational. Upon inspection, our diver reported the valve stem hardware that made the connection to the gate was damaged and needed to be replaced. The client had the replacement hardware on site, and we were able to get the gate operational during the same visit.


We replaced the missing O-ring and retightened the retaining ring to standard specifications, sealing off the air leak and restoring 100% airflow to the rest of the aeration grid. This brought the wastewater treatment process back to normal operating status and kept the plant’s treatment processes running without delay or loss of productivity.