What is a Wastewater Pump Station?
A wastewater pump station transports sewage by pumping it through a pressurized pipe until it reaches a point where it can flow downhill through sloped pipes using gravity or until it reaches a treatment plant. They differ from wastewater lift stations in that the wastewater exits the lift station at the top of the well. A wastewater pump station moves the sewage some distance horizontally as well as vertically.
How Does a Wastewater Pump Station Work?
The most common type of wastewater pump station uses a wet well. This is a pit that holds wastewater until it reaches a threshold level where there is enough wastewater to pump out. Once the wastewater reaches this level, pumps turn on and push the wastewater into pipes. The pipes travel uphill to a point where gravity can take over and the wastewater can flow downhill into the main sewer.
Wastewater pump stations are typically used when the source is in a low-lying area, when the wastewater must be moved uphill, or when the cost of digging trenches for sloping pipes is higher than the cost of installing a pump station.
Wastewater Pump Station Monitoring and Maintenance
Routine servicing of the pumps, motors and float switches is important to ensure their good operation. Remote monitoring of the stations catches issues before they become serious problems. This includes recording the float switch activations to ensure the pumps are turning on and off correctly and that the station is keeping up with the volume of water. Monitoring the motor currents can show that they are operating correctly or that something is wearing out or a pump is clogged. Monitoring power to the station can detect interruptions, noise or other conditions that could impact the electronics or motors.
The key is that the service provider responsible for the maintenance of the pump station is informed of a problem well before an overflow event. This gives them time to service the station and correct any issues before it becomes a serious problem.
Wastewater Pump Station Monitoring Solutions
SCADA systems have been used to monitor wastewater lift stations for decades. However, these are typically older systems using dedicated radios that drive up cost. As the Internet of Things (IoT) has exploded over recent years, the cost of technology to connect Things to the Internet has plummeted while becoming easier to use and deploy.
Nexcomm Systems has a complete monitoring solution for wastewater lift stations. This consists of multiple hardware options depending on the complexity of the station and the level of information desired, as well as a complete cloud service with reporting and alerting built in.