The need for pump stations arises when the water is unable to discharge with the aid of gravity and requires an artificial push. This requirement is fulfilled by using one or more pump stations. These devices work as a chamber to collect sewage, wastewater or stormwater. After collecting the water, the water is then transported to a designated area for recycling or disposal.
Where are pump stations used?
Pump stations are available in a variety of sizes, from modest under-sink installations to industrial systems that transport thousands of litres of liquid over vast distances, and can be put in home, commercial, industrial, or mining environments.
Types of pump stations
- Stormwater pump stations
Stormwater pump stations collect rainwater from a localised catchment area and boost it through discharge pipework when gravity discharge will not work due to distance or height difference.
Stormwater run-off either flows directly into an inlet grate in the top of the pump station, or on larger systems that are piped underground to the pump station from catchment sumps or roofed areas.
The installation of a stormwater pump station prevents water ponding in a carpark or other paved area, and avoids flooding or overflow into adjoining properties. It also allows capture for subsequent reuse.
- Sewage pump stations
Sewage pump stations are in charge of collecting wastewater and raw sewage at the source and delivering it to the Municipal Authorities’ subterranean collection network via a rising main.
Things to consider when selecting a pump station
- The application
Before selecting any components for your pump station, it is critical that you understand what is being pumped, where the pump station will be located and where it will be discharging to. This will influence selections of both the station and pump size/s.
Depending on which jurisdiction the pump station is being installed, whether it be council or Water Authority, there may be an approval process or certain requirements that must be adhered to. Each water authority and council may have different preferences. Your supplier may be able to advise you on these requirements.
- Chamber size
Next, consider the size of the chamber and the number of pumps required. For some applications, a single pump will be enough, however in multiple residential developments or larger commercial settings which may experience a large amount of stormwater or sewage, a twin pump system is recommended.
There is also a choice of the type of pump station; whether it be polyethylene, concrete or fibreglass there are advantages and disadvantages of all varieties depending on the application. Polyethylene stations are ideal for smaller applications where light weight and simplicity of installation are desirable. Concrete is used for larger applications where crane access is not restricted, and fibreglass is generally only used for larger stations that need to be transported for long distances.
- Type of pump and electrical supply
Pump units come in single and dual configurations, depending on the application and kind of pump station. Solids handling pumps are chosen to avoid pump clogs and continuous maintenance difficulties, using Vortex pumps for stormwater and grinder or cutter pumps for sewage applications. In stormwater applications, the catchment area and rainfall intensity, as well as the number of users in sewage pumping, define the required flow rate.
The difference in static height between the pump station and the discharge point, as well as the length of the rising main, determine the pump discharge head required (friction loss). A set of questions and calculations can help your pump supplier choose the right pump.
Read more: How does a sump pump work?