Pump Station Installation, Repair & Maintenance
Sewage pump stations operate quietly in the harshest of environments. Over time, sanitary raw sewage and gas corrodes and breaks down all the equipment contained in, and surrounding, the wet well. Pump station maintenance involves a combination of plumbing skills, electrical skills, controls experience, structural know-how and a good knowledge of safety practices and rules. Lyttle Utilities is a leader in the individual skills required to maintain a pump station and the soft skills in communicating a pump station issue with the client. In business since 1982, we have worked with local municipalities, county water boards and rural pump stations through the Central Virginia and Richmond region for decades.
Our Pump Station 30-Point Inspection Report
Our maintenance inspections normally cover a 30-point inspection, ensuring that no small issue becomes a large one. The following represent the major components we look at during each inspection:
- Commercial Pumps: Pumps used in commercial or industrial situations require more than their residential counterparts. Types of commercial pumps vary. The two we see most frequently are:
Effluent Pumps: Uses centrifugal force to move fluid that is relatively free of solids
Grinder Pumps: Uses positive displacement by macerator to reduce sewage to a finely ground slurry for pumping destinations.
- KSB [http://www.ksb.com/]
- Goulds [http://www.goulds.com/]
- Gorman-Rupp [http://www.grpumps.com/]
- Smith and Loveless [http://www.smithandloveless.com/]
- Barnes/Crane [http://www.cranepumps.com/]
- Liberty [http://www.libertypumps.com/]
- Pentaire [http://www.pentaire.com/]
- Zoeller [http://www.zoellerpumps.com/]
- HOMA [http://www.homapump.com/]
- Grundfos [http://www.grundfos.com/]
Controls and Components: A failure to maintain the controls and components within a pump station can drastically shorten the life of the pumps themselves so we always inspect these.
Control Panels: This component is brain of the pump station. Making certain the control panels are in top working order is imperative to pump station maintenance.
Auto dialers: When a pump station goes into a “high water alarm” situation, an autodialer can communicate the alarm to phone number, email address, or any other telephony. This is an especially critical component for pump stations with extremely heavy flow and/or pump stations located in socially or environmentally sensitive areas.
Float Switches: Floats in the tank tell the pumps when to engage and disengage. Mercury-filled cavities attached to the floats move when the float moves, causing an electrical signal to tell the control panel when to turn the pumps on and off.
Debris Management: We know debris is a pump station’s worst enemy. We routinely find items such as grease, rocks, bricks, playground balls and bicycles inside of wet wells. The key to managing debris is to keep it away from the flow to the pumps and thus out of the pumps themselves. We use two main methods of retaining debris:
Debris Baskets: Can be custom-made to fit any situation. They sit next-to or over pump intake and physically holds debris from interfering with pump mechanicals. Debris baskets need to be cleaned out on a very regular basis, as continued buildup will restrict the flow of effluent and sewage to the pump, causing other issues.
Effluent Filters: these filters fit on the outlet end of any tank (such as a grease trap) [link to Commercial grease trap page]
Lyttle Utilities, Inc. leads the industry in structural rehab of existing concrete wastewater structures. These technologies allow for replacement, rehabilitation, renovation, repair, inspection, and location and leak detection with minimum to no excavation from the ground level. Our structural rehabilitation techniques save time and money.
Miscellaneous Sewage Pump Station Conditions to Consider
It is important that the pump station area be accessible for technician trucks, pump trucks, or bypass equipment, in the case of an emergency. If the site is surrounded by a fence and secured, it is important that any employee, or contractor who is responsible for emergency response, be able to quickly and safely access the site.
Most modern wetwell access hatches are hinged aluminum models. Some of these hatches have safety latches and some do not. Some have padlocks and some do not. It is important that the hatch is maintained so it can function properly as designed to allow/prevent ingress/egress, as may be required.
If the power source to the pump station temporarily goes down, what will happen to the sewage that will continue to flow inside? Critical facilities, whether for social or environmental reasons, need to have a backup power source in case of a power failure. We have worked with engineers and manufacturers to ensure the appropriate unit was installed for the given task – keeping the pump station up and running in emergency situations.
Restrict access to pump station equipment and the danger of a wet well fall by securing the perimeter of the area with safety fence or privacy fence.
Basic grounds work should be done on a regular basis to keep vegetation, vines, and organic material from working its way into the pump control area or wetwell. This creates a conduit for moisture and pests, potentially compromising your investment.
To discuss your pump station maintenance needs with a professional, call Lyttle Utilities at 804.232.6774. Our staff is available Monday-Friday, 8am to 4:30pm to answer your questions.