What Is a Lift Station, and How Does It Benefit You?

December 1, 2021

A lift station is a small building that features infrastructure designed to keep wastewater moving uphill or across long distances.

Lift stations are critical parts of sewage collection systems, as they save a great deal of money in excavation costs that would be required to dig out new sewer pipes. Digging trenches is costly and can cause quite a bit of surface disruption. Using lift stations instead at certain points in a gravity pipe system significantly saves on construction costs without having to sacrifice functionality.

There are a couple primary types of lift stations used in municipalities:

  • Submersible pump lift stations: This is the most common type of lift station. At these stations, submersible pumps within the water are mounted inside the well and feature a motor that pushes the wastewater in a specific direction. This model of lift station prevents many of the health and safety concerns associated with other types of lift stations, and is generally more efficient and reliable.
  • Dry well: Dry well systems are no longer as common as submersible pump lift stations. In such a station, the system is kept in a separate location (generally its own chamber or somewhere underground). The physical separation between the lift station and the well requires more hazardous maintenance, which is one of the reasons why it’s fallen out of popularity with the growing rise of submersible pump lift stations.

In any wastewater system, raw sewage enters through sloped pipelines that operate primarily based on gravity. In locations where wastewater enters the system at a lower elevation, it becomes necessary for it to be transported in an efficient manner to a higher elevation to benefit from the slopes of the system. This is where the lift station comes in.

When the wastewater reaches a storage container that acts as an empty cell, it builds up until it reaches a predetermined level, at which point it empties out. The wastewater is tested and monitored while in the wet well, and this is where solid materials are removed. Once the well is full, the pump at the station lifts the wastewater upward.

Lift station benefits through high standards

We’ve already briefly touched on the primary benefits of lift stations: their ability to keep wastewater flowing across long distances and up elevations. Because of the regulatory standards for the field of wastewater management, lift stations provide a variety of other benefits, as they are required to have certain qualities, including:

  • Matching pump capacity with the quality and volume of water to be treated at the station
  • Streamlined maintenance and operation to the fullest extent possible
  • Reliable operation without interruption
  • Avoiding the excessive release of odors to neighbors in the surrounding area
  • Avoiding flooding and overflowing that might otherwise occur without a means of lifting and pumping wastewater
  • Minimal environmental impact on the area surrounding the lift station
  • No restrictions on future capacity and expansion needs should wastewater volume increase

For more information about lift station benefits and what you should know about lift station operation, contact the team at Enviro-Line Co., Inc.

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Enviro-Line Co, Inc.