Getting a Basic Understanding of Lift Stations

January 26, 2021

A wastewater lift station is just one part of the infrastructure that controls your wastewater collection and the entire municipal water system in your area. Lift stations collect wastewater at low points, then pump it up to higher elevations to a treatment facility or to the next gravity line.

So, how do lift stations work, and why are they important in Camden County, MO? Let’s take a closer look.

What is a lift station, and how does it work?

Lift stations feature several primary components, including a wet well for temporary storage of wastewater, several submersible pumps, float controls for the pumps, piping, a control panel, a backup generator (in case of a power outage during storms or flooding), radio communication devices and a valve vault. The lift station is tasked with pumping the wastewater through a forcemain (a type of pressurized pipe), which then transfers that wastewater to the final discharge point at a higher elevation.

This is an important task, because simple rules of gravity can make it difficult to transfer wastewater over long distances to a treatment facility without having lift stations on hand to bring that wastewater up to elevation.

These facilities need to be properly maintained to make sure they will reliably operate during times of need. A municipality’s sewer department will be tasked with this maintenance. Lift stations should be put through daily checks for any clogs or obstructions, and undergo regular wet well cleaning, valve exercise and thorough cleaning of all collection systems every four or five years.

Homeowners can do their part in keeping municipal water lines in good condition by avoiding flushing down fats, oils and grease, as well as any other items that should not go down drains.

The functionality and maintenance of these stations is extremely important, because should a lift station fail due to power outage, a forcemain break or failure in the pumps, wastewater will quickly build up in the wet well, backing up into the collection system. This, in turn, could cause sewer backups in homes in the area, or result in wastewater flowing out of the lift station and into the environment surrounding it.

Maintenance of these stations is also important to help avoid a buildup of foul odors, which can quickly become a great irritation to people who live or work near these stations. Gas from the sewage that gets collected can also be very corrosive, resulting in potential damage to the wet well, pumps and piping—another reason why regular cleaning and inspections are so important.

Interested in learning more about lift stations, how they function, the kind of maintenance they require and what you can do to take better care of your municipal wastewater system in Camden County, MO? We encourage you to contact Enviro-Line Co., Inc. today for more information about lift stations and maintenance so you can develop a greater understanding of their importance and how they work. We look forward to answering any questions you have for our wastewater pump company!

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