Noise control technology has come a long way from the 1980s (left) where machine noise was attenuated by whatever means were nearby and
would address the issue quickly. More recently, manufacturers such as Thompson Pumps (right) have employed a range of technologies includ-
ing quieter-running fans, silencing mufflers, quieter air intake filters and rigid/vibration-isolation engine mounts to reduce dB(A) levels.
such as Japan, Germany and Hong
Kong also offer incentives and awards
for certifying products as low noise.
Much like the anti-idling regulations
for trucks that crept up through municipal, county and state legislation, noise
regulations in the U.S. appear to be following a similar path. Noise ordinances
are on the books throughout the U.S.,
yet there is no particular consistency
between them. In most cases, enforcement occurs when a complaint is filed.
States such as New York, Oregon and
California enforce violations through
fines or by requiring contractors to
operate machinery from a recommended equipment vendor list. The
city of Portland, Ore., through its “Title
18 Noise Control Code and Charter”
has instituted fines as high as $5000
per infraction. Residents can file noise
complaints multiple times a day, resulting in multiple fines to the offender.
Complicating matters for the contractor is the inability to meet local noise
ordinances with multiple machines
running. While 60 dB(A) may be attainable with one light tower running continuously, it may not be possible when
eight other machines are being operated on the same job site.
In off-road machines, the majority
of sound is emitted from the engine
and transmitted through airflow,
said Majid Tavakoli, vice president,
Applied Products at Port Orange, Fla.-
based pump manufacturer Thompson
Pumps. Thompson produces a range
of portable pumps — powered by
diesel and gasoline engines — for
construction, bypass, dewatering,
public works, municipalities, mining,
sewer/lift stations, water/wastewater
and agriculture applications.