How Saniflo Grinder and Pumping Technology Provides Safe Underground Mining Restrooms

According to The Mining Association of Canada, mining is one of Canada’s most important economic sectors and a major job creator. The extraction of minerals and metals provides material used to create objects used in everyday life, such as computers, smartphones, means of transportation, and homes, and is crucial for low-carbon technologies.

In addition, the mining industry boosts employment rates, providing a whopping 719,000 jobs throughout the country. Miners are the most crucial component in the industry, not only operating machinery and equipment to extract minerals and metals, but also to ensure the site is safe and efficient for the crew to operate.

One of the key components of efficiency on site is creating a plumbing system to allow miners to access restroom facilities. The most basic option is using a bucket, designating a dump chute to discharge the waste into a trough or an area where waste would be pulled up and discarded outside of the mine — posing not only a challenge to efficiency but sanitary risk as well.

The Challenge

The challenges of a traditional plumbing system lie with the infrastructure of the mine. 

Consider the layout of a mine like a tree, with the main trunk as the base where oxygen and water are brought down throughout the mine and where sewage is often brought out. In addition, a cage is used for transportation to access different mine levels.

Branches shoot off the trunk of the mine, with hallways that run more than a mile long, ending when the product ceases to exist in the mine. To maintain the integrity of the mine branches, these hallways must provide just enough space for dump trucks to operate and for miners to move about the mine. How then do you fit any piping within the limited space of each branch?

In addition, mobile trailers are often set up underground for foremen to do their administrative paperwork. As a consequence, these trailers must include office spaces that require the availability of restroom facilities that allow wastewater to be discharged safely.

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Walk-in showers

When upgrading your existing bathroom, be sure to take measures to minimize the risk of falling. For example, consider a walk-in shower that eliminates the need to take a step up into the space — and possibly tripping.

If you are adding a new bathroom in an easy and accessible location, consider also raising the entire bath floor a few inches. This removes the need for the shower itself to be on a six-inch platform when installing Saniflo products, such as the Sanishower. It also dispenses with the additional worry of missing your step when you are at your most vulnerable — getting in or out of the shower.

The Saniflo Solution

So how does Saniflo fit into the picture? With depths reaching up to 900 feet, Saniflo macerators and lift stations can assist waste discharge by pumping wastewater to a larger pump, leveraging the technology’s ability to pump long distances. From there, the larger pump can discharge wastewater vertically to a sanitary location outside the mine to dispose of the waste.

Tisdale Mechanical Contracting has provided high-quality mechanical products and services since 1955 and installed approximately 100 restroom facilities throughout mines in Timmins, Ontario, and surrounding areas. CEO Jamie Clarke turns to Saniflo products for these applications.

“With Saniflo, we can pump waste to another station of the branch or to a section where you can have a containment system that can be pumped out in another way,” explains Clarke. “The goal is to dispose of this waste in a safer area around the mine.

Although every mine’s specifications necessarily differ, installers can assess which macerator best suits each project. Below is a breakdown of a few Saniflo products that can handle evacuating waste over long distances on a larger scale.

  • Sanicubic 2: This duplex (two-pump) grinder lift station comes pre-assembled, making installation easy and efficient. Its grinder system consists of two, 1-HP (horsepower) motors acting independently, reducing solid waste and even larger items that would not normally be flushable, such as sanitary napkins, q-tips, etc.
    • Effluent enters the Sanicubic 2 housing through one of five inlets that can accommodate 1.5-inch to 4-inch diameter pipes. Once the wastewater level hits a trigger point, one or both pumps activates. The effluent then is discharged through a 1.5-inch pipe connected to the top of the pump up to 36 feet vertically and 328 feet horizontally from multiple fixtures and bathrooms.
    • If one pump shuts down, the other can operate full-time until the first is back online, avoiding complete system malfunction.
  • Sanicubic 2VX: Another pre-assembled unit, the Sanicubic 2VX is a duplex 1.5 HP Vortex lift station capable of discharging wastewater from multiple bathrooms and fixtures. This system is similar to the Sanicubic 2 in that it can handle solids, including sanitary products flushed down the toilet.
    • This model features pump impellers that create a vortex action as effluent enters the unit, keeping solids up to two inches in diameter away from the impeller as it turns. As a result, it pushes waste rapidly to the discharge pipe, reducing the possibility of clogging.The impellers work independently and alternately as a high-performance grinding system, allowing one pump to run full-time should the alternate one malfunction. Once again, this allows time to service the malfunctioning component without the system shutting down entirely.Wastewater can be discharged up to 36 feet vertically (2”) or 20 feet vertically (4”) and 328 feet horizontally.
  • Sanibest Pro: This 1 HP pump system is a grinder system that can discharge waste water from a variety of sanitary fixtures and also handle sanitary products. Blades rotating at 3,600 revolutions per minute (RPM) can reduce waste to a slurry before ejecting it using the impeller mounted beneath the motor. The unit can pump effluent 25 feet vertically and up to 150 horizontally.

Click HERE for more information on which Saniflo products will work best for your application.

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SANIFLO CANADA – whose parent company originated macerating plumbing technology – offers a complete line of macerating and grinding upflush toilet systems and drain-water pumping systems for residential and commercial applications. SANIFLO developed its innovative, “above-floor plumbing” technology more than a half-century ago and has led its commercialization worldwide. Today, the company markets macerating technology through 22 subsidiaries in 50 countries and has sold more than six million units worldwide since 1958. SANIFLO products are available through independent sales agents throughout North America, and the product line is currently available at most major plumbing wholesalers and hardware retailers. For more information or installation videos, please visit or call SANIFLO Canada at 1-800-363-5874.

  • For more information or installation videos, contact Saniflo Canada at 1-800-363-5874. Or visit the Saniflo Canada website at
  • For editorial assistance, including photography, contact John O’Reilly ([email protected]) or Payton Meyers ([email protected]) c/o GreenHouse Digital + PR: 815-469-9100.

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