Photo of a community sewage pumping station Inspection & Maintenance Guide for Septic Sewage Pumping Stations

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What is a septic pumping station or lift station?

Here we illustrate a septic pumping station for a small community wastewater handling facility.

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What are Community & Housing Development Septic Pumping Stations?

Sketch of a municipal pumping station

Our sketch (left) illustrates a typical sewage pumping station schematic, including the pumping cvhamber, inlet and outlet piping, an elevated grinder pump and floating pump switch, and a pump control box accessible fdrom the manhole cover.

This article is a section of our online book SEPTIC INSPECTION & TEST GUIDE whose chapters are shown at the left of this page.

Septic pumps used for pumping air in aeration systems and septic pumps used to move effluent in a drip dispersion system are discussed under the appropriate septic system type which are outlined at SEPTIC SYSTEM DESIGN ALTERNATIVES.

Photo of a community sewage pumping station

A community sewage pumping station uses a large centralized chamber to receive wastewater from multiple buildings at a single site or development and then grind and pump the wastewater onwards towards a wastewater treatment facility.

The photo at the top of this page shows a large sewage pumping station serving a shopping complex in southern New Jersey.

The photos at left and below show a sewage pumping station serving a residential community in Pawling New York.

Vertically suspended submersible sewage ejector pumps use a motor secured to the sewage reservoir cover. The pump is basically held in place by the connection of the pump motor shaft to the pump housing which is inside the reservoir.

Closely-coupled submersible sewage ejector pumps use a motor which is secured not to the sewage reservoir but rather directly to the pump mechanism itself - to the housing for the pump impeller which actually grinds and moves the wastewater. A short shaft connects the closely-coupled sewage pump to the impeller housing and impeller, and the entire assembly is submerged in the sewage reservoir.

Sewage pumping stations are needed where all or some of the homes or buildings in a community are located downhill from the greater community's sewage mains. Wastewater drains by gravity (or if necessary by individual building septic pumps) from individual buildings in the community to the local septic pumping station which has a holding tank big enough to act as a receiver for wastewater from the community.

From the receiving station, wastewater passes through one or more sewage grinder pumps through a pressurized sewage force main (pipe) which transports the waste uphill to a location from which the wastewater can drain by gravity through additional piping to the community's wastewater treatment facility.

The septic pumping station will typically use two or more sewage grinder pumps to move wastewater uphill to the larger community's sewage mains where it passes to the sewage treatment plant. Multiplexing pumps helps assure that the community's waste will be handled even if one pump fails, and also permits staging of pump operations to bring more pumps online if the inflow rate increases.

Photo of a community sewage pumping station

Special Concerns for Municipal Lift Stations & Community Septic Systems

Photo of a community sewage pumping station

We have some special concerns for community sewage pumping stations or "septic pumping stations" or "force mains" as they may be called in some areas.

One unpleasant effect was that homes nearest to the pumping station's receiving chamber suddenly had everyone's sewage backing up into their homes. In addition to omission of a backup generator for the system, the plumbing contractor had not installed check valves in the sewage lines at each home.

Diagnosing sewage backups and how to diagnose clogged drains is discussed at Diagnosing Clogged Drains & Septic System Backups: Is it a blocked drain or the septic system? - A First Step for Homeowners.

The contaminants in sewage that may be left behind when sewage backs up in a building are discussed further at Septic system contaminants: identifying water and soil contaminants produced by onsite waste disposal systems.

Septic Pump / Sewage Grinder Pump Articles


Continue reading at SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMP FAQs or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



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SEPTIC PUMPING STATIONS at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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