Wastewater Lift Station Monitoring
Lift stations are a critical component in a wastewater system that can increase efficiency and reduce construction costs. Like other public works systems, lift pumps require regular maintenance and monitoring. You should understand what they are, how they work, and why maintenance is so important.
How Lift Stations Work
Wastewater collection systems involve a complex network of pumps, pipes, and controls. Sometimes, waste must fight against gravity and flow from lower to higher elevations. Lift systems provide the energy and pressure needed for the material to flow uphill.
This is an effective way for municipalities to save on construction costs. Instead of undergoing a costly excavation process to install new pipes, they can install a lift system in their existing infrastructure.
The typical station has a number of components:
- Receiving well
- Pumps and pipes
- Power supply
- Backup generator
- Ventilation system
The sewage first arrives at the well. Here, it is tested and the solid materials are removed. Then, the system uses a sewer force main, which is made up of pumps and compressors, to lift the sewage upwards. It can then continue on its path toward treatment.
There are two main types of stations: dry well and wet well. In a dry well station, the lift system is installed separately from the waste in its own chamber. In a wet well station, also known as a submersible pump system, the lift system is submerged in the sewer water. This method is more common today because it reduces health and safety risks.
Larger communities may use hundreds of lift systems. The stations vary in size depending on the volume of water they must handle. Smaller stations usually have only two pumps, but larger stations have many more.
Wastewater is a hazardous material, so it needs to be handled with the utmost care. Regular maintenance on a sewage system is essential for the health and safety of the workers and the community. Municipalities also must conduct regular maintenance in order to comply with the law.
Maintenance involves monitoring flow readings, testing the power supply, cleaning the system components, and installing and testing alarms. Lift systems are usually automated with no on-site operators, but technicians typically conduct weekly inspections to check for leaks or other damage.
SCADA Monitoring for Lift Stations
It only takes one moment for something to go wrong with a waste system. In the time between weekly maintenance visits, there can be serious damage.
A monitoring system is a valuable tool for stations of all sizes. It identifies issues immediately and notifies the proper employees, which drastically reduces response time. This is especially important in case of floods, leaks, or overflows. These issues can quickly become catastrophic for the environment and for the people within the community. Technicians can fix problems right away before the damage spreads, which lowers repair costs.
Monitoring systems aren’t just helpful for emergency management. They also collect information about flow volume, run time, pressure, and other important factors. This can help the municipality discover ways to make the system more efficient.
Today’s technology allows for high-quality, cloud-based monitoring. A SCADA monitoring system uses a combination of hardware and software to remotely record and report data. Installing and maintaining the system is very simple. You don’t have to send a technician to the station to monitor the sensors or collect information. Instead, the SCADA system securely sends the data to you through the cloud.
The waste collection system is one of the most important pieces in a community’s infrastructure, and lift pumps help it operate efficiently. When something goes wrong with the lift system, it can lead to serious consequences. Regular maintenance is key for keeping the pumps in good working condition, and a SCADA monitoring system is a great way to ensure the system is functioning properly.