Although we may not think of this much, sewage pumping stations do play an extremely important role in providing efficient water and sewage services. In its raw form, sewage isn’t environmentally safe. As such, it must be treated at sewage treatment plants. However, to get there, the sewage needs to be transported underground through a series of pipes and mains.
A large part of these underground networks that are gravity-fed, but when we can’t maintain a gravity-fed network, we rely on sewerage pumping stations to transfer the sewage from lower levels within the network to higher levels, thus allowing the gravity-fed method to take over. Allowing the continual movement of the sewage to the treatment plant.
For those who may be unsure, a sewage pumping station is made up of a large tank (known as a wet well), that takes the role of a receiver for sewage from either a single building or a group of buildings. Once there, the sewage will sit in the wet well until a predetermined level of sewage has been accumulated. When this level is reached a pump will activate, pressurising the sewage so that it will be able to travel out of the wet well, to another area where it will again enter the main sewer and be able to use the gravity-fed method again.
Some of the advantages of having and using a sewage pump station are:
- The size of the intake on the pumps is often wide enough to be able to prevent blocking
- The sewage is able to be pumped out automatically, without the need for human intervention.
- The pump stations are generally fitted out with remote monitoring systems, which allow the operators to be kept up to date.
- The sewage system is fitted with an alarm to alert maintenance personnel to any problems that may be occurring within the system.
However as with all things there are also some disadvantages with the sewage pump stations, primarily caused through a lack of maintenance. This is mainly due to blockages, fat building up, and general problems with damaged or ill-working parts. The majority of those problems can be dealt with quickly and resolved by speaking with your pump company.
If you take a closer look around your neighbourhood you may be able to identify your nearest sewage pump station. They will generally include equipment both above and below the ground. On the surface you will find a secure (if found not to be, call your local council) electrical cabinet, that the power supply and pump controls reside in. Obviously underground will be the actual sewage pump station. At ground level there will be a visible flat concrete slab with secure (again if it isn’t, contact your local council) access cover(s).
If you happen to live near a sewage pump station, there is a high chance you wouldn’t have known as they are very quiet, being that all the working parts are underground, and the earth around it acts as excellent noise suppression.