Understanding Booster Pumps

With how spread out the water infrastructure of different cities has become, the need for booster pumps has become increasingly necessary. Moving water from sewers to treatment plants, or from collection plants to homes, requires enough pressure to push the water across long distances until it ultimately reaches its destination. If the distribution system has low flow the water won’t reach its end point or end user. This is why booster pumps are such a vital piece to any municipality’s water distribution system. 

What Causes Low Flow In Distribution Systems?

One of the main culprits of low flow pressure in a distribution system is gravity. Gravity works well when flowing downhill, but when water needs to flow uphill it’s an inhibitor. Additionally, a large city will likely have strong flow closer to the distribution center, but buildings further away will likely experience lower flow due to the distance traveled. It’s for these reasons that booster pumps are so vital in ensuring that everyone has access to water. 

How Does a Booster Pump Work?

The ultimate goal of a booster pump is to provide enough pressure in a pipe in order to propel the water through it. By applying enough pressure into the pipe, the water can overcome the downward pressure of gravity to make it up inclines and other obstacles. The necessary amount of pressure needed to pump the water can be figured through a few simple math equations. This formula can then be programmed into a booster pump through a controller that is either attached to the pump itself, or located at a remote monitoring site. The formula for the optimum amount of pressure is figured by taking into account the dimensions of the pipes, the attachment pieces, and any curvatures in the pipes. All of these factors make a difference in deciding how much pressure to apply through the system. Too much pressure and the pipe could burst, too little and the water won’t be propelled.

What Other Sectors Use Booster Pumps?

Booster pumps aren’t solely used for water, they are also used for sewage, wastewater, and oil. For sewage and wastewater, the role of the booster pump is to push wastewater through the sewer system and towards the treatment plant. If there were no booster pump to help push the sewage to the treatment plant a build up of stagnant sewage could happen leading to potential health hazards.

In the oil sector, booster pumps are used in the processes of collection, refinement, and transport. They help ensure that the product is safely and efficiently transported through the distribution channel to its end source. Without the use of booster pumps in the oil sector, the viscosity of the oil would likely prevent it from reaching an optimum flow rate making for an inefficient means of transport.

Monitoring Booster Pump Stations

Booster pumps, like any other facet of a water distribution system, need to be consistently monitored to ensure that no mishaps occur. By implementing a supervisory control and data acquisition system into your booster stations, municipalities can be sure they aren’t wasting water, money, and can provide water to the people they serve.