A Comprehensive Guide to Pump Stations

Wastewater disposal is a critical aspect of modern society. Homes and businesses rely on pump stations to effectively transport wastewater to the main sewers.

pump station

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about pump stations, including how they work, the different types available, and why regular maintenance is crucial.

How Do Sewage Systems Work?

A sewage system is a complex network of pipes that transports sewage from homes and businesses to the main sewers. Typically, gravity moves the waste into the main sewer, but in some areas where the main sewer is located at a higher elevation than the domestic sewage pipes, people use sewage pumping stations to transport the waste.

What is a Pump Station?

Individual houses, buildings, or a group of buildings produce wastewater, which is collected by a facility called a pumping station. The wastewater flows into a large tank, known as a wet well, which acts as a receiver. From there, the wastewater is pumped to a treatment facility for further processing.

How Does a Pump Station Work?

The components of a pump station include a large tank, called a wet well, which receives sewage from either a single building or a group of buildings. Sewage from individual houses flows into the wet well. The pump station works in four simple steps:

  • 1

    The wet well fills up – The sewage will sit in the well until it reaches a predetermined level.

  • 2

    Pumps kick into actionOnce the sewage reaches a certain level, the pump will activate via the monitoring system either float driven or monitored via ultrasonic rader. For a dual pump system, one pump deals with the inflows, and a second pump provides backup in case the first pump fails. To ensure even wear, the pumps alternate duty with each pump cycle, and during high flow periods, the second pump provides increased capacity.

  • 3

    Sewage transferredOnce the sewage is out of the wet well, it will then travel uphill, to a point where it enters the main sewer, or that it can then travel into the main sewer using gravity.

  • 4

    Tank Emptied – Once the tank has emptied, the pump will automatically shut off until the tank fills again.

Why You Might Need a Pump Station?

There are several reasons why you may need a pump station:

  • 1

    The ground level is too low, and the main sewer sits on higher ground than the domestic sewage pipes.

  • 2

    There is a large amount of waste that would overload a regular system.

  • 3

    The pipes pass over raised ground.

  • 4

    The cost of groundworks to allow sewage to flow by gravity outweighs the cost of a sewage pump station.

Types of Pump Stations

There are three types of sewage pump stations, each with its advantages and disadvantages:

Wet-Well Sewage Pumping Stations

A wet-well pumping station consists of a large GRP underground tank or a chamber constructed of concrete rings that store wastewater. These are great for applications that require large amounts of water as these chambers can be made of all shapes and sizes.

Advantages: Durable so last much longer. Wide range of sizing options. Good for high water tables

Disadvantages: Not readily accessible.

Dry-Well Sewage Pumping Stations

A dual pump is installed in a concrete or steel chamber below ground level, which makes up this type of pump station. Typically, dry-well stations are ideal for residential applications where a large amount of water storage or processing is not necessary.

Advantages: Economical and easily accessible for routine inspection and maintenance.

Disadvantages: Can only be used in areas where the soil is sufficiently compact to support the weight of the pump.

Pre-Cast & Adoptable Sewage Pumping Stations

Made from concrete, pre-cast sewage pumping stations are the most expensive type of pump station, and predominantly are a requirement for large house builders who wish to have pump stations adopted by a local water authority.

Advantages: Durable, reliable and can withstand severe weather conditions

Disadvantages: Most expensive option and takes longer to install and commission.

The Importance of Pump Station Maintenance

Pump servicing is an essential part of maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your pump system. Having a qualified professional conduct regular inspections and maintenance can help to identify potential issues early on and avoid costly downtime, which can result from pump station failure and lead to unexpected high costs.

Pump station


Having your pump station serviced at least once a year is recommended, although your specific needs may require more frequent servicing. During a service, the pump and its components are thoroughly examined, and any issues are addressed. A pump service should include:

  • Cleaning and emptying the tank.
  • Checking for blockages and removing them if there are any.

  • Inspecting the sewage pump system for defects such as broken pipes, pump seals, problems with the float switch, or impeller.

  • Testing water alarms, battery backup systems, and telemetry systems.

  • Testing and checking all operating control panels.

  • Performing electrical insulation resistance tests for longevity.

By regularly carrying out these checks, you can ensure that your pump station is operating at optimum levels, minimising downtime and reducing the risk of costly repairs.

Reliable Pump Station Solutions

Pump stations play an essential role in wastewater disposal, and understanding how they work and the importance of regular maintenance is crucial.

We train our team of experienced professionals to handle all types of pump stations. We can cover you if you need minor repairs or a complete overhaul.

So if you need help with your pump station, get in touch today by calling our team on 01634 562 222.

Pump station

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