What Is The Purpose Of A Lift Station?
You've probably seen one or more of these floating around the sewer system in your city, but you might not know what it's called. The technical name for this is a lift station.
A lift station is a structure that pumps wastewater from lower elevations to higher elevations so that gravity can do its job and move the wastewater along the sewer system.
For example, a lift station is built to lift large amounts of wastewater from a low-lying area where it is collected to a location at a higher elevation. A pump will move the water from one level to another and then gravity can take care of moving it along its way in the sewer system for treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.
If a wastewater treatment plan is not available, a lift station removes the raw sewage from homes and transports it to a series of pumps that push it uphill into a larger sewer line. The large pipes distribute this wastewater to the city's main wastewater processing facility or another lift station for treatment.
If you own property in an area where there is no lift station, you would need to install your own pump system to move the wastewater up and over elevations. A city may offer financial assistance for this kind of project if it's related to an upgrade or expansion on your property.
For example, new commercial development needs all the customers they can get - but wait until the construction is complete and any necessary new equipment is installed before you plan on having a lot of visitors.
Lift stations are often used in flood zones, where dry land cannot be found and where heavy rains could flood buildings and homes with wastewater if not for this equipment.
Elevators can also stress septic tanks and lead to system damage, clogging of lines, and flooding. A lift station can be used in an area where groundwater levels are high enough to back up into buildings or septic systems are at risk due to too much water.
Different types of lifts are available to handle the type of sewage treatment plant you have. This equipment comes in many different forms, unlike other types of wastewater processing equipment. The most common types are gravity-powered, pressure-pumped, and vacuum systems.
The way that each lift station type works depends on the size of the system, where it's located, and what type of sewage waste is being processed. Each has its benefits and drawbacks which should be considered before installation or continuing maintenance is done.
For example, a vertical turbine pump is powered by water and can be used to move wastewater up an incline of up to 10 feet. It's not suited for use with high-viscosity or vicious wastes or where there are large solids in the wastewater. A plunger lift system moves wastewater vertically through pressurized air. It works well with solid wastes, but it also requires a larger investment at the beginning.
A belt lift system is another option that moves wastewater through rollers on steel or fiberglass belts. This basic design comes with fewer complications and only minor maintenance issues during its lifetime of use. There are many different types of lift station equipment available for all types of wastewater treatment requirements. The best one for you depends upon your specific location and needs.