The Care and Feeding of Sewer Pumps

March 30, 2020

Wastewater treatment systems usually include sewage sump pumps. These includes effluent and grinder pumps to ensure your Camden County, MO system functions smoothly and maintenance is not busy with constantly clearing out clogs. When you choose a sewer pump, you need to consider two elements: the type of pump you need and the maintenance it requires. Here is a guide to the care and feeding of sewer pumps so your wastewater treatment remains efficient.

Choosing a sewer pump

When most people hear about a sump pump, they immediately think of the device that clears water from flooded basements. Sewage sump pumps bear no resemblance to their basement counterparts. They are designed to handle solids which would likely clog the most common basement systems.
Sewage sump pumps work with septic and municipal systems to clear wastewater. There are two common types of sewage sump pumps: grinder pumps and effluent pumps.

A grinder pump is installed in a basement or just outside a building. They are also installed in sewage lift stations. They work by grinding up solids so they flow through the sewage lines better. The optimal rate of drainage is two feet per second, which can be difficult if larger solids are not broken down into a slurry. Grinder pumps make this possible by increasing flow and avoiding clogs.

Effluent pumps are located in the last chamber of a septic system. They move effluent up to the drain field. You need to have one installed if your drain field is located higher than the holding tank. While grinder pumps are often installed for both municipal and septic systems, the effluent pump is only needed for septic treatment.

Maintaining your pump

While these pumps may seem to require a big initial investment, the good news is that they do not require heavy maintenance. Sewage pumps, if properly cared for, last around seven years. You can expand their life expectancy by using some common sense.

The best way to maintain most sewage pumps is to avoid placing un-flushable waste in your system. Cat litter, feminine hygiene products, dental floss or wet wipes are frequent culprits in clogging pumps or causing them to fail. Not even a grinder pump can handle them, so it is best to avoid flushing them.

Keep a generator in case of power failure. As sewage sump pumps function on electricity, a power outage can be a disaster. If grinder pumps stop functioning, sinks, drains and toilets will fill with sewage waste. When an effluent pump is cut off from power, the holding tank may overflow. That’s why it’s a good idea to maintain a back-up power system. If this is not possible, conserve water as much as you can and try not to drain too much into your system. That can likely buy you time until power is restored.

You also want to keep up with your routine maintenance appointments. The technician will inspect your pumps and ensure there is nothing wrong. As failures can lead to bad and unsanitary surprises, it is best to catch problems before they cause a disaster.

Enviro-Line Co., Inc. provides grinder pumps to clients in Camden County, MO. Contact us today to see if one can help with your wastewater treatment.

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