Vertical Paddle Wheel Flocculators (VPWF) are the most popular and economical flocculator used in water treatment plants. These flocculators are designed with 10 State Standards in mind. Plants are concerned, not only about the cost of the equipment, but also the process advantages that it gives them. Vertical Paddle Wheel Flocculators designed under the 10 State Standards mean that plants do not have to worry about the quality of floc particles it creates as may be the case with impeller flocculators. Typical cost of a Vertical Paddle Wheel Flocculator depends on factors such as, current plant layout/design considerations, and plant preferences.

Typical cost of a Vertical Paddle Wheel Flocculator Factors

  • Per drive cost
  • Per real cost
  • Bridges Cost
  • Controls Selection
  • Material selection

The typical cost of a VPWF can have a wide range depending on some factors. The typical cost of a VPWF is based on horsepower needed and the reel diameter. A typical 1 horsepower and 12 foot diameter or less flocculator is around $15,000 – $20,000. Adding more horsepower increases the cost by $5,000 per horsepower. This is due to the need for a larger gear box to get the desired horsepower. The per reel cost for a VPWF is around $5,000 – $10,000. While a per drive cost is around $10,000 – $20,000. This is depending on material selection and price can vary.

Bridge selection is something that needs to be considered. A bridge can either be made of concrete, galvanized steel, or stainless steel. A galvanized steel bridge can range cost from $5,000 – $10,000. A concrete bridge cost is usually absorbed into the setup cost of a plant.

Some vertical style flocculators will not include a drive stand or some other features that can increase the life of the product, but can add additional up-front cost. JMS standard for all VPWF is to include a drive stand that also includes a radial thrust bearing and chain coupling help extend the life of the gear box.

Control selection for a vertical paddle wheel flocculator comes down to the size of the plant and the amount of flocculators used. The two options available for a VPWF are a control panel housing VFDs or a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) directly mounted to the flocculator’s motor (SEW Eurodrive calls their version a “Movimot”). A VFD mounted directly to each motor is a great option for plants that do not have too many flocculators as it allows plant operators to change speed individually on each drive. A VFD typically costs around $1,000 – $1,500 per drive. A control panel comes into play when a plant has a lot of flocculators, less personnel, or has a SCADA system. One control panel can control 1-6+ flocculators. A starting cost for a control panel is around $10,000 – $15,000.

Material selection for VPWF can affect the long-term life cycle cost of the piece of equipment but up front there is no price difference between stainless steel and carbon steel. There is a 10% price difference between 316 and 304 stainless steel.

Paddle selection for the flocculator can impact cost as well. Stainless steel paddles are the most expensive adding 3% overall cost. There are two selections for fiberglass polyester and vinyl ester. Polyester is the lower cost of the two options and there is a 3% difference between polyester and vinyl ester.

It is important to consult with your flocculator supplier to get the best combination of features to meet the needs of your operation and provide for a cost-effective system.