As an industry leader in pump manufacturing, the in-house team at GATOR Pump, Inc. produces high-quality trailer pumps, hydraulic pumps, vertical pumps, floating pumps, and more. We specialize in customized, efficient, and affordable pump solutions for effectively transporting water, slurries, sludge, and other various heavy solids in the most difficult and remote operating locations. 

Our high-performance GATOR Trailer PTO Pump is well-known throughout the industry for its rugged design and simple maintenance requirements. Our centrifugal pumps are considered among the most reliable and durable products available on the market today, and we are committed to producing high-quality equipment that is built to last: our team stands behind each of our pumps, and service after the sale is our hallmark.

GATOR Pump offers slurry pumps, also known as sludge pumps, for high solids-handling performance with the rapid deployment and portability you need to get the job done. Learn more about the types of slurry, what to consider when selecting a slurry pump, and the myriad of slurry pump applications across industries.

What Is Slurry?

The slurry is composed of solids suspended within a liquid. This fluid will have viscosities ranging from thin to thick in substance, with varying temperatures and sizes of suspended particles. Unlike pure water, transporting slurries can lead to corrosion and abrasion within pumping equipment.

There is a virtually limitless number of substances that are considered slurries. Some slurries are intentional, like foods, paints, and cement. Other slurries need to be managed accordingly, like pond muck or wastewater. 

Common varieties of slurries include:

  • Soil slurry. This slurry is a mixture of mud, clay, dirt, sand, silt, rock, and other soil particles in water, which effectively moves the soil media.
  • Coal slurry. Coal slurry is a byproduct of burning coal for energy production. It is a toxic mix, typically composed of water and coal fly ash.
  • Slurry oil. This refinery fluid byproduct is generated through fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units, which contribute to a small portion of the international supply of fuel oil.
  • Pulp slurry. Pulp slurry has applications in paper production. It is derived from a mixture of solvents and various wood pulps.
  • Manure slurry. Made up of organic matter and animal waste, manure slurry is useful as fertilizer in agricultural settings. This is achieved by aging and concentrating the manure and organic material in a slurry pit.
  • Wastewater. Water that humans have already used and contaminated is considered a slurry. This typically pertains to sewage wastewater.
  • Sewage sludge. This is a semi-solid slurry that is a byproduct of the treatment of sewage wastewater.
  • Food processing slurry. There are numerous liquified processed foods with a solid base that are considered slurries, such as peanut butter, soups, gelatins, condiments, liquid chocolates, and more.

Considerations When Choosing a Slurry Pump

As there are many varieties of slurries, there are many sludge pump types available. Choosing the wrong pump for your application can lead to a decrease in suction effectiveness at best, as well as equipment damage, system downtime, and costly repairs or replacement parts. To make the right slurry pump selection for your specific application, consider five key variables:

Design

Many slurries are corrosive and abrasive. In these cases, it is important to select a pump that has a durable impeller or, alternatively, a rotor. Slurries also tend to have particles of varying sizes and densities. For slurries in which larger solids might be present, you want to select a pump design that won’t clog easily.

The GATOR Sludge Pump is designed with a modification for an in-line slurry valve that facilitates media pumping and handling by utilizing discharge flow to agitate and thin the fluid. After slurry processing, the valve closes, and the sludge removal pump transports the material to the designated discharge point.

Materials

A slurry pump’s material construction will directly impact its effectiveness and longevity. For abrasive slurries that have a neutral pH level, Hi-Chrome is the preferred material for its high Brinell hardness. 

For slurries that are abrasive but have an acidic pH, duplex stainless steel is recommended. This material also maintains a high Brinell level for optimally handling corrosive materials.

Deployment Technique

A slurry pump’s method of deployment is an important consideration when developing its setup. GATOR Pump is a submersible pump and, as the name implies, submersible pumps completely submerge in a liquid. As the pump is submerged, it does not require priming and there are no suction lines or check valves.

Power & Size

A slurry pump’s application will decide its appropriate power needs and the resulting size. To offer optimal longevity while still effectively pumping abrasive liquids, the ideal operational speed for slurry pumps is typically between 900 and 1,200 RPM. Working at slower speeds avoids the wear similar to sandblasting that occurs when the RPM rate exceeds that range.

What Industries Use Slurry Pumps? 

Slurry pumps have applications in an array of diverse industries.

Irrigation & Agriculture

Our portable sludge pumps are ideal and convenient in agriculture for pumping large amounts of water out of a ditch, canal, stream, or pond. Our pumps don’t require priming, suction lines, or check valves, just submersion in water. Beyond crop irrigation and water transfer, example applications include:

  • Weed and water-grass management
  • Animal waste removal
  • Sediment removal during pond cleaning

Mining & Construction

Mining and construction sites often require continuous flow, and pumps for these industries need the capability to withstand abrasive and corrosive media while effectively maintaining operations. Our pumps are specifically designed to handle these tough slurries in applications like:

  • Storm deluge and emergency flood pumping
  • Gravel and sand quarry dewatering
  • Settling pond containment and water transfer

Wetland & Waterfowl Management

Proper land conservation efforts rely on dependable slurry pumps to transfer water and adequately protect wildlife habitats and wetlands. Our pumps can reach such remote areas, and we’ve worked with both government agencies and conservation organizations to help manage environmental conditions through:

  • Flooding wildlife habitats for fishing and hunting purposes
  • Mitigating storm surge
  • Dewatering for seasonal habitat preparation

Flood Control Drainage

For residential, business, industrial, or agricultural flooding, deploying dependable flood pumps in a timely manner is crucial. Flood water tends to carry suspended solids, and so slurry pumps will provide the best results. Our flood control and drainage pumps are applicable for:

  • Wildlife and fish refuge management
  • Sewage bypass and stormwater removal
  • Emergency response pumping in remote areas

Sludge, Slurry, & Manure Waste Handling

When it comes to pumping manure or other potentially dangerous slurries, certain regulations must be followed. Our pumps are designed to meet the standards set for numerous environments. Our sludge water, slurry, and manure pumps are capable of:

  • Transfer pumping for sewage plants
  • Manure lagoon management
  • Handling landfill leachate

Oil Fields, Refining, & Energy

Slurries are abundant in the petroleum industry, some of which are quite abrasive and thick. Many energy applications demand consistent and continuous flow, and our pumps are capable of this in applications such as:

  • Drill mud handling
  • Oilfield water and mud injection
  • Refinery fire suppression

Partner With GATOR Pump For Your Slurry Pump Needs

Looking for a high-performance slurry pump? GATOR Pump offers efficient, high-quality pumps you can depend on, with capabilities for customizing our products and manufacturing in-house to meet your unique needs. A veteran-owned business since 1977, our company focuses on providing reliable, long-lasting, and cost-effective solutions for a system you can trust. 

For questions about our slurry pumps, contact us by using our online form, giving our team a call at 1-800-735-9811, or sending us an email. For custom solutions, request a quote to begin your project.

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