Lake Ossiach’s water board uses an Econic 2635 to keep its sewage network clear.

Be pro-active, not reactive – this is the maxim according to which Lake Ossiach’s water board (WVO) maintain the sewage network in their catchment area. And one of the main players assisting their team in this task is an Econic 2635.

Hundreds of kilometres to keep in shape.

The average Austrian uses 130 litres of water per day – the majority of which flows directly down the drain, for example when showering or doing the washing up. Only an average of around 3 litres per head are used each day for cooking or drinking. Once it goes down the plughole, water used in the bathroom or kitchen begins its journey into a system which remains hidden from view for the vast majority of us. And the same is also true of the extreme amounts of spent water that produced on a daily basis. It should therefore come as no surprise that just the underground network which WVO maintains in Carinthia (Austria) covers a total distance of 840 km.

"Over an area of 300 m2, we process the waste water of 45,000 people," explains WVO employee Markus Londer. In order for this to take place as smoothly as possible, the sewers and pipes need to be cleaned at regular intervals. After the morning briefing, Markus Londer drives his Econic 2635 to the site of today's operations and parks near the manhole cover. His especially environmentally friendly vehicle is equipped to Euro VI standard, has three axles, of which one is driven, and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 27 t. The chassis was supplied by Pappas Group before Dietmar Kaiser in Liechtenstein installed the sewer cleaning system comprising a 1090-litre water tank, a 7430-litre waste water tank, a high-pressure pump and a vacuum pump.


Keeping things flowing.

"We try to avoid the 'fire service' approach as far as possible," explains Markus Londer, who isn't just responsible for cleaning the drain network, but also for maintaining the 240 pumping stations. "The aim is to keep the network running with as few interruptions as possible and to avoid large-scale damage in the long term. It's about keeping follow-on costs low by repairing any damage as soon as possible," says the expert. "If we were to work like the fire service – in other words, only turning out when something bad has happened – that would mean we weren't doing our job properly in the first place. However, despite our best efforts, we do still sometimes have to deal with the odd acute problem here or there across the network. Plus, at the end of the day, we're dealing with public funds and so it's up to all of us to use them as economically, expediently, and efficiently as possible."

I'm at eye level with pedestrians, plus with the large windows and all the mirrors, I always have a good view of my surroundings.

Markus Londer, driver at Lake Ossiach's water board

Economic operation is an especially important aspect where this Econic scores highly. Its fresh water consumption is kept to an absolute minimum during rinsing operations. One tank filling per working day is enough water for the operations and thus also avoids time-intensive refilling breaks to pick up more fresh water. This is made possible thanks to a special filter: while the high-pressure jet and hose move through the pipes, Markus Londer uses a 150-mm tube to vacuum up the waste water and any debris which comes free. This then lands in the waste water tank of the 350-hp Econic. "Coarse material such as gravel remains in the tank and the water then passes through a filter and can be re-used for rinsing," explains Markus Londer.

A perfect partner in grime.

Even when he and his Econic aren't working directly at a manhole, the truck offers a range of comprehensive advantages. "The height of our Econic was kept nice and low. That, plus the truck's compact size, is a real advantage which shouldn't be underestimated when driving through small villages and towns. It also means I'm at eye level with pedestrians, plus with the large windows and all the mirrors, I always have a good view of my surroundings." The water board employee also enjoys the benefits offered by the low, ergonomic entrance. "Over the course of a working day, we drive forward a few metres, then have to get back out, so you really do notice the difference."

Econic vacuum cleaning trucks ensure safer roads.

The spacious cab is also sometimes used as a changing room. "Obviously, we're out on the road regardless of the weather, so we sometimes need to put on rain overalls. In a normal truck when you're two-up, that's pretty difficult, but here in the Econic there's plenty of space to get changed and you can even stand up normally. And after completing the work, I can take off the wet overalls and put them in the aisle to make sure the seats stay dry."

A big fan of trucks and machinery, WVO employee Markus Londer also offers up a further advantage which the special truck has and which he'd miss if he no longer had it: the Allison 3200 P automatic transmission. "It's fantastic when you're driving. It's so comfortable it's unbelievable," tells Markus Londer. No wonder, then, that he sees his Econic 2635 as a perfect partner for accomplishing the daily maintenance of the extensive sewage network.

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