A pumping station is an effective system for moving liquid waste to the mains sewer when gravity alone will not do the job. So, how does a pumping station work? What different types are available? Which option is best for your application? Read on for all the answers and find out some of the main things to consider when specifying one.

How does a pumping station work?

A pumping station works by collecting and then pumping waste to the sewer system at high pressure, after which natural gravity takes over.

Firstly, the liquid waste is transferred into and stored in a wet well or collection chamber monitored by level control equipment such as a float switch or liquid level sensor. When the sewage reaches a predetermined level, an integral pump is activated to lift the liquid at pressure through a discharge pipe system and into a gravity sewer manhole.

Typically, a float switch is used to monitor the liquid level and control the operation of the pump. As the name suggests, the switch floats on top of the liquid and uses an internal micro switch to turn the effluent pumping station on and off when the liquid reaches the switching point. Find out more information about float switches and how they work. 

Do all pumping stations work in the same way?

There are several different types of pumping stations, but most work in the same way. The main types are:

Below Ground Pumping Stations

Below ground pumping stations are a discrete solution ideal for controlling wastewater, drainage water and sewage, being widely deployed in housing estates, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels and many other locations.

Above Ground Pumping Stations

Above ground pumping stations are ideal for locations where a below ground pumping station is not a viable option. They are suitable for a wide range of surface water, sewage and drainage applications. 

Utility Pumping Stations

Utility pumping stations are compact units designed for in-house locations and the pumping of low volume effluents.

Adoptable and Private Pumping Stations

It’s important to distinguish between adoptable and private pumping stations.

Essentially, Adoptable Pumping Stations are for use on public land. They are usually designed for large-scale applications and will comply with all applicable standards, including Sewers for Adoption specifications and water company requirements.

It is commonplace for pumping stations to be transferred from one owner to another. This is known as pumping station adoption and involves the legal transfer of ownership - for example, from a housing developer to the local water authority. The new legal owner is then responsible for the pumping station, including costs and ongoing maintenance and repairs.

Private Pumping Stations, on the other hand, are designed for privately owned sites. Package Pumping Stations are often used in the private sector, consisting of a complete unit comprising a chamber, pipework, valves and level control, pre-assembled and operated by an integral control panel.

Do I need a pumping station? What type should I specify?

When the main sewer sits higher than the sewage pipes, gravity alone will not transport the waste to the main sewer. While one option is to undertake groundworks to allow natural flow, this can often be very difficult and expensive, which is where pumping stations come in.

The best type of pumping station will very much depend on factors such as the site, application and required inflow. T-T Pumps offer a comprehensive range of pumping stations suitable for every need and application, including:

  • Adoptable Pumping Stations
  • Private/Package Pumping Stations
  • Above Ground Pumping Stations
  • Utility Pumping Stations

From concept and selection through to the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the pumping station, we can help you find the best solution for your individual requirements, as well as ongoing support, maintenance and repair.

Want more information on our pumping stations? Need some expert advice? Speak to our friendly team on +44 (0)1630 647200.