Common Questions About Our Groundwater Remediation Systems Q. What other equipment will I need to research, price, and buy to make the Magnum Spill Buster operable? A. No other equipment is required other than what is included in the system, except for a discharge container of some sort for the pumped product. The Magnum is comprised of three modules: the Control Box, the Auto Seeker*, and the Probe, which contains the interface sensors and the product pump. We include the cables you need to connect the three modules, as well as an overflow sensor for the product tank and discharge tubing to carry what is pumped to the product tank. If desired, the Magnum can operate with water depression (see below) and vacuum extraction, but neither is required. No compressors, rate controllers, etc. are needed. Q. How do the Magnum Spill Buster’s Probe sensors work? A. The Alpha-Array™ sensors are based on a technology developed for NASA for spacecraft fuel gauging. They are a multiple field array, all-solid-state, monolithic, and noncontact. This makes them highly immune to fouling, which is a problem with virtually all other types of sensing methods, including conductive, float, optical, and even radiofrequency methods. The sensors are made from carbon composite material and are thus virtually corrosion-free and immune to almost all chemicals. Q. Does the Magnum Spill Buster pump any water? A. No. The sensor bands are positioned below the pump intake and operate to keep the pump intake within the product layer at all times. As the product is pumped off, the water table subsequently rises up until it reaches the sensor. They immediately signal the system to shut off the pump. The auto seeker then raises the probe until the pump intake is again positioned just inside the product layer, and the cycle begins again. Q. How far can the system track changes in water table elevation? A. The Magnum can track the water table throughout the entire depth of the well. It adapts immediately to water level changes and thus permits pumping to continue as long as there is accumulated product to remove. Q. What kind of products is the Magnum Spill Buster designed to pump? A. The Magnum is designed to pump free-phase NAPLs (Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids). Those are liquid contaminants that have trickled down through the soil and reached an underground water table. The Magnum will pump both those that are lighter than water, LNAPLS (or “floaters”), and those that are denser than water - DNAPLS (or “sinkers”). Most of these are hydrocarbon-based liquids such as fuel oil, gasoline, diesel, etc. but could be almost any liquid that forms an interface with water and is less than 12 centipoise in viscosity. For higher viscosity products, we recommend our High Viscosity Spill Buster. Note: The pump used in the Magnum system contains aluminum parts that are potentially reactive with halogenated hydrocarbons. Q. What is the minimum thickness of free-phase contamination necessary for the Magnum Spill Buster to pump? A. The minimum thickness of free-phase contamination necessary for the system to pump is approximately 1 cm (.39 in.). Q. What is the maximum flow rate for the product pump on the Magnum Spill Buster? A. It is approximately 0.7 GPM at zero head. Q. Is the Magnum Spill Buster weatherproof? A. Yes, the system is weatherproof; no special weatherproof enclosures are required for the Auto Seeker or Control Box. The system can operate in temperatures ranging from -40°C to +60°C. Currently, we have Magnums installed and operating year-round on sites in Alaska, Canada, Brazil, New Mexico, and many, many places in between. Q. What does the Auto Seeker do? A. The Auto Seeker is an electrically powered reel that automatically raises and lowers the probe/pump to the oil/water interface as it rises and falls due to seasonal or tidal fluctuations. Q. How does the Magnum operate automatically? A. When the system is turned on in automatic mode, the Control Box signals the Auto Seeker to lower the probe/pump into the well until the sensors find the interface. The Auto Seeker will then adjust the position of the probe to bring the pump inlet slot just into the product layer. The pump is then activated and pumps down the available product until the water level rises to the pump inlet. This shuts down the pump, and the Auto Seeker will again adjust the position of the probe to bring the pump back inside the product layer. The system will continue until all available product is removed and the pump inlet is in the air. The Magnum will then go into a “wait” mode of twenty minutes before again seeking the product/water interface. If there is still no available product, the Magnum will start another “wait” period of forty minutes before seeking the product. It will continue to double the length of the “wait” period if no available product is found until it achieves balance with the product recharge rate or reaches a six-hour maximum (though we have quite a few older systems still in operation that were programmed with a twelve-hour maximum). Q. Can I change the automatic control modes as set by the factory? A. No. The overall software algorithms for automatic mode cannot be changed. However, there are some parameters that can be adjusted, such as cycle time, interface clearance, pump rates, etc. Refer to the owner’s manual for details, or contact us about what you want to change. Q. How far can the Auto Seeker track water fluctuations? A. The Auto Seeker can track the interface through the entire depth of the well. Q. What is the maximum depth from which the Magnum Spill Buster can recover product? A. The standard Magnum Spill Buster comes with a 50 ft. (15m.) probe length but can be customized for wells up to 100 feet (30 meters) deep. While 100 feet is the maximum amount of tubing that can currently be mounted on the Auto Seeker, we have constructed probes up to 150′ deep, where the extra length of tubing was allowed to hang free off of the reel. Q. Do I really need the Auto Seeker? A. If the water table fluctuations are very small and/or change very slowly over the course of weeks or months, the system can be configured without the Auto Seeker. In this scenario, the position of the probe/pump would need to be monitored and adjusted manually. The Control Box and the down-well probe/pump would be connected through a junction coupler rather than through the Auto Seeker. The other two scenarios where the Auto Seeker is not needed are when pumping DNAPLS, or when using water depression (see below). Q. Do I need the Auto Seeker if I am pumping only DNAPLS? A. Since DNAPLS sink beneath the water table, you can manually set the probe at the lowest possible level and pump the product out until it is gone. The system will shut off as soon as the probe sensors detect water. Q. Can I use water table depression with the Magnum Spill Buster? A. Yes, as long as the well is at least 4 inches in diameter. A water table depression control module is connected to the Magnum’s Control Box, and a Grundfos Redi Flow 3TM environmental water pump is installed in the well. The Auto Seeker is not used in this configuration. The system probe is suspended just above the level at which you intend to keep the water; it will automatically cycle on and off, pumping off product, not water. When the system is in operation, the water/product interface is therefore controlled to the product pump intake. The Magnum is only configured to operate in concert with Clean Earth Technology’s water depression module. This is because the lower sensor band in the probe prevents the water/product interface from moving down to the water pump intake, thus preventing any raw product from being pumped into the water treatment system. Q. If I only have product in the well and no water, can I still use the Magnum Spill Buster? A. Yes. However, there are special setups and monitoring requirements. If you have this condition, you should call our service department to give you detailed directions to get you started. Q. How is the Magnum Spill Buster maintained? A. Standard maintenance consists of using the Auto Seeker to wind the probe up out of the well. The pump can be easily removed from the probe, and the pump filter should be cleaned of all debris. Before reinserting the pump, the sensor bands inside the probe tube should also be wiped clean. Once the pump is repositioned in the probe, the Auto Seeker will lower it back down the well to resume operation. Request a manual. Maintenance procedures and recommendations are discussed in detail in the Magnum Spill Buster Operator’s manual. Q. How often should this procedure occur? A. It depends on what you are pumping and how much solid or semi-solid debris is in the product. When it is first set up, you should check the system frequently to get a feel for how much and how quickly any debris is accumulating on the filter. If the filter screen is plugged when you check it, shorten the time between service visits until you find the screen still reasonably clean. If the screen is not plugged and the sensors are clear, it is safe to lengthen the service time interval. Q. Is the Magnum Spill Buster explosion-proof? A. The input power to the Control Box is 110-120 VAC. Therefore, the box must be located outside of any hazardous areas. If your site conditions require the box to be placed farther than 30′ from the wellhead, we can build custom-sized cable lengths to accommodate that. However, if the panel must be located in a hazardous location, CET can provide an explosion-proof enclosure (Class 1, Div 1, Groups B, C, and D) for it. The Auto Seeker motor is also available in an explosion-proof enclosure of the same rating if the site specifications require it. Q. How is the Spill Buddy different from the Magnum Spill Buster? A. The Magnum Spill Buster is a semi-permanently installed, automatic system used for the long-term remediation of free-phase products. The Spill Buddy is a portable, manually operated NAPL skimming device. It is best suited for pumping the available product from monitoring or recovery well that is visited for that purpose on a regular schedule. The system can be carried in by hand by a technician who also brings in a discharge container, such as a ten-gallon pail, or who has access to a nearby tank or barrel. The operator turns a crank knob on the side of the Spill Buddy’s reel that manually unwinds the probe/pump down the well. An audible signal informs the operator when the interface has been reached. The operator then slightly raises the probe so that the pump will be positioned within the product layer (or lowers it in the case of a DNAPL product) and turns on the pump. As the product is being removed and the water table rises so that the sensors in the probe again detect water, a change in the audible signal signals the technician to switch the pump off. Adjust the probe again and pump again. That sequence is repeated until all available product is removed from the well.