What is a Bladder Pump?
Bladder pumps are devices that consist of non-contact, pneumatically operated pump with positive e displacement. This pump uses compressed air and consists of a housing that houses a bladder made of polyethene. A filtration screen is just below the bladder that filters out any material. Compressed air or nitrogen tanks come in handy for these pumps to operate.
These pumps are usually for in-depth environmental sampling at more than 28 feet and are typically good for use in wells. For more advanced usage of these pumps like groundwater sampling, it allows control of the pumping cycle and flow rate.
How does Bladder Pumping work?
When the user lowers the bladder pump into a well or any other deep body of water, the formation of water is accessible through hydrostatic pressure that enters the chamber or bladder. The bladder fills to static level from the water flowing through the inlet filter. When compressed air goes through the driveline, it pressurizes the surrounding area of the bladder and causes it to collapse to push the water in sample lines. After releasing the compressed air, the bladder receives more formation of water.
After reapplying the pressure, the formation of water then goes towards the surface. The pressure and venting cycle continues that keeps a steady flow of water towards sample lines without removing volatile material from the sample. Parts of check valves make sure that no water flows back from the bladder or formation. Through this operation, you get access to a high-quality example of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) groundwater sample.
Using Bladder Pumps
We know that bladder pumps are suitable devices to acquire high-quality groundwater samples in an accurate manner. This is the reason site owners, and regulators prefer bladder pumps to acquire data in reproducible form repeatedly.
When acquiring groundwater samples, a few important factors need consideration. These factors include:
- Physical attributes of a well
- Diameter and purge volumes
- Depth to reach the water
- Sample intervals
- Ability to access the well for transportation of sample
- Well hydraulics for recovery and recharging features
To fulfill the aim of collecting a high-quality groundwater sample as economically and efficiently as possible, EPA approved bladder pumps offer the low flow, groundwater sampling, and VOC analysis.
Perceived Misconceptions (Negatives or Positives)
Despite the benefits bladder pumps have, there are specific misconceptions and myths about the complexity of usage that limits users to upgrade. Keep an eye on possible perceived complexities about their operation on these easy to operate and handle devices. Though expensive, these pumps prove to be an excellent value for money by saving time and providing high-quality data.
You may need to invest in the controller just once and use multiple times for acquiring data from different sites. Dedicated pre-assembled systems significantly reduce that time needed to set the whole equipment set with inexpensively renting of compressed air. If any other site needs bladder pumping operations, the entire equipment is easy to disassemble and is highly transportable.
Tips for Effective Sampling
Acquiring a sample requires applied pumping pressure that is not too difficult to determine. A 2.3 ft column of water becomes accessible easily with a 1 psi of pressure, which is equal to half column height of water in feet. As an example, if the intake of a bladder pump is at 100 ft., it needs almost 50 psi of pressure and 10 psi as an extra if there is line loss. Whenever selecting a pump controller, be sure to consider the one that has secure pre-set pumping options in the system. This will take the guesswork out of sampling and determining suitable drive or vent time.
Bladder pumps are available in various materials, shapes, and capabilities. These include models for deep wells with narrow casings and small-volume pumps for low wells. Bladder pumps minimize the possible contamination in a sample because of construction using non-porous and inert materials. The design of the bladder also ensures that the parts and examples remain in good condition through lubricants and grease.