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KEEP THE PEACE WITH SILENCED PUMPS

20 JANUARY 2019

When you're using a diesel pump or trash pump, it's important to keep the noise down if you're working in or close to a residential area.

If your pumps or other equipment exceed decibel limits set by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and other authorities, you could face complaints and fines.

That's not to mention the potential long-term consequences for workers and anyone else close to noisy machinery who could develop hearing-related problems in the future.

You can avoid these problems and keep the neighbours happy by hiring silenced canopy pumps.

WHAT ARE SILENCED PUMPS?

Whatever type of pumping you're doing, from sumping to sewer bypass work, ask your pump supplier if they have a silenced option.

These pumps feature silencing canopies that are designed to reduce noise to environmentally sensitive levels, even when operating at full capacity. Depending on your needs, this may mean a level suitable for a construction site or a residential area.

How do they work?

The pump enclosure is made from strong aluminium or steel with sound-absorbing insulation. Air vents and exhausts are carefully positioned to prevent noise from escaping.

Operators can check pump displays and access controls through a window in the enclosure, which can be opened when needed. Engine vibrations may also be isolated and exhausts muffled to lower noise levels further.

Most silenced pumps are designed to operate at levels below 70 decibels, but it's still recommended that workers wear ear protection in the pump's vicinity.

How else can you reduce noise?

Silenced canopies aren't the only way to keep the noise down on your site. Whether you're using a diesel pump, generator or other noisy equipment, you should also:

Follow recommended hours

While you may be forgiven for noise during the day when most people are at work, local residents will be less forgiving if you're disturbing their evenings or keeping them up at night. Recommended hours for normal construction are:

Monday to Friday: 7am–6pm

Saturday: 8am–1pm

Sundays and public holidays: No work

Install acoustic barriers

As well as silenced pump canopies, you can also hire acoustic barriers to enclose pumps, generators and other noise-producing equipment temporarily.

Provide ear protection

Hearing protection is recommended for workers when noise levels are above 85 decibels. While silenced pumps are usually below 70dB, you should still provide ear protection to personnel, as there may be a risk of hearing damage over a prolonged period of time.

Maintain your pumps

If your pumps or other equipment are louder than you expected, this could be a sign that something's wrong. Check for missing covers, guards and mufflers, replace outdated equipment and make sure all equipment has regular maintenance to prevent problems.

Position pumps wisely

When setting up your pumps, generator and other equipment, try to position them as far away from noise-sensitive areas as possible. If you're using sound barriers, these should be positioned close to the source of the noise to be effective.

Give advance warning

If you've done everything you can, but you're still worried about causing a disturbance, contact local residents and inform them before work commences. As well as feeling grateful for your concern, they can also learn why pumping or other activities are necessary and they may be more understanding.

To hire silenced pumps in all parts of Australia, talk to your local Coates Hire branch.

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