HeadCell industry leading grit separation system
Industrial water treatment Water and wastewater treatment

Remove more, finer grit to protect downstream equipment, increase plant efficiency and cut maintenance and repair costs.

The HeadCell® is a stacked tray grit, sand and solids separator that captures and retains 95% of all grit 75 μm and larger - guaranteed.

With a small footprint, no electrical requirements, and no moving parts the HeadCell® delivers exceptional and economical solids removal for small, medium, or large wastewater treatment plants.

The HeadCell® modular stacked tray grit separator captures and retains 95% of all grit 75 micron and larger with minimal headloss, protecting downstream equipment and processes from abrasive wear and sedimentation.

With a small footprint, no electrical requirements, and no moving parts the HeadCell® delivers exceptional and economical solids removal for all sizes of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) - helping them to maintain treatment effectiveness and cut operation and maintenance costs.

The unique stacked tray design provides the surface area required for outstanding performance with a small footprint, enabling treatment capacity increases using existing space. Its durable design ensures long component life with minimal wear and grease build-up even under challenging operating conditions.

Enabling plants to meet stringent environmental requirements with less odors, the HeadCell® is the ultimate grit removal solution for new plants as well as representing a value-for-money retrofit option for grit removal upgrades. For new headworks grit control systems, the HeadCell® can be installed in a poured-in-place concrete basin above or at grade, with a footprint much smaller than conventional grit removal systems.


  • Improved wastewater management
  • New wastewater treatment plants
  • Treatment plant retrofits
  • Grit and / or sediment removal for potable water applications
  • Industrial effluent degritting

Protect treatment equipment and processes from abrasive wear and sedimentation

The HeadCell® system is a force multiplier for the rest of the treatment plant: by removing grit and solids upstream in the process, critical and often sensitive downstream equipment is free to operate at full design capacity. Sedimentation and abrasion damage are drastically reduced, meaning that less energy and less maintenance is required. 

The HeadCell® outperforms all other methods of grit separation, particularly when it comes to fine grit removal. Conventional and less capable systems can capture the larger particles, but it is fine grit - as small as 75 micron - which causes most problems for plants.

The HeadCell® system can be guaranteed to capture 95% of all grit 75 micron and larger.  

Maximize wastewater treatment performance and free up plant space

Structured flow and low velocity operation extend product life significantly. The HeadCell® operates all-hydraulically, and requires less than a foot of headloss to operate, which saves your plant money.

Tray sizes and the number of trays can be modified to meet your site’s specific layout, flow, and performance requirements and can often be retrofitted into existing basins. Multiple units can be provided to accommodate any flow and / or any turndown ratio.

Double the treatment capacity in the same footprint as existing grit equipment

There’s nothing like the HeadCell® - the unique and proprietary structured flow configuration minimizes grease build-up, and its small footprint gives engineers the flexibility to incorporate future treatment capacity increases.

The HeadCell® captures fine particles due to the very large surface area and short settling distances. Evenly split flow eliminates thermal short circuiting which reduces the performance of conventional grit basins, making the HeadCell® the ideal grit basin. The HeadCell® is a hydraulically driven forced vortex system which requires no moving parts to operate.

  1. The high efficiency flow distribution header evenly distributes influent over multiple conical trays.
  2. Tangential feed establishes a vortex flow pattern where solids settle into a boundary layer on each tray, and are swept down to the center underflow collection chamber.
  3. Settled solids are continuously pumped to a SlurryCup™, OpTeaCup™ or TeaCup® grit washing system and then on to a Grit Snail® dewatering escalator or can be sent to a Hydro GritCleanse™ combined washing and dewatering system.

Watch a Video showing how the HeadCell® works 



  • 95% removal of all grit 75 micron and larger
  • <15% Volatile Solids when used with Hydro International grit washing and dewatering equipment
  • >60% Total Solids output when used with Hydro International grit washing and dewatering equipment


  • Available with 4’, 6’, 9’, and 12’ diameter (1.2, 1.8, 2.7, 3.7 m) trays
  • The number of trays can be varied to match existing basin depth 

  • Four HeadCell unit installation
  • HeadCell with optional grating allows you to view and use the psace above the tank.
  • HeadCell grit removal drained
  • Two HeadCell grit removal systems installed in Texas
  • 1 of 10 HeadCell Advanced Grit Management systems during install
  • New HeadCell grit removal system after install
  • HeadCell during pre start-up inspection
  • Empty HeadCell in tank
  • HeadCell with removal grating
  • Top view of HeadCell system

Can the HeadCell be used in applications other than municipal wastewater?


The HeadCell is also suitable for use in clean water intake applications, as well as industrial and agricultural projects within certain operating parameters. Please contact us to determine if the HeadCell is suitable for use in your particular application.


My plant has a very high turndown ratio, what are the turndown limitations in the HeadCell?


HeadCell systems can be designed to meet virtually any turndown ratio.


What are the headloss requirements for the HeadCell?


The HeadCell is a low-velocity forced vortex system. This results in a very low headloss of less than 12” (30 cm).


Is additional equipment required for total plant protection from grit?


The HeadCell is the ideal grit separation system, but separation is only one part of the grit removal process. Once the grit and organics have been separated from the plant influent, grit will need to be washed in a high performance grit washing unit such as the SlurryCup or TeaCup. Once the organics have been removed, the grit will still need to be dewatered before it is ready for landfill. This is best accomplished with a Grit Snail quiescent dewatering escalator.


Is screening required before the HeadCell system?


1/2 inch (25 mm) or finer screening is required upstream of the HeadCell system.


Can the HeadCell be used in retrofit projects?


The small footprint stacked tray design of the HeadCell makes it the ideal system for retrofitting to increase grit removal performance. In many applications, existing structures, channels and basins can be used to significantly reduce overall project costs by reducing concrete and construction costs. Both the diameter and number of trays can be customized to fit into existing basins without compromising performance.


How does the HeadCell provide equal surface area contact with all of its trays?


The structured influent duct directs the influent so that flow is evenly distributed over the trays. This, combined with short settling distances, results in a very short time before the influent contacts the trays. Tangential entry increases the time that influent materials are in contact with the surface area of the trays, further enhancing separation performance.

Parts & Spares

Keep your Hydro International water management systems running effectively and efficiently. Our services teams will supply you with…

HeadCell + Hydro Grit Cleanse = Ultimate Performance

HeadCell® provides unmatched grit separation performance, the Hydro GritCleanse™ provides unparalleled washing performance. Together you can now have the best performing grit system on the market with single supplier accountability. 


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