Convenient Pump Station Upgrades

Wastewater pump stations need upgrading periodically. Sometimes it is because of a degrading of infrastructure and other times it is to increase the capacity of the pump station because of an increase in population, and hence an increase in flow into the pump station.

An increase in flow is often accompanied by an increase in pressure because of additional friction losses in the rising main. Because of this, larger pumps are sometimes needed, and these larger pumps may not be able to be accommodated by the existing wet well. Here is where the use of self-priming pumps can offer a more convenient and more cost-effective solution.

Self-priming centrifugal pumps are used extensively in the USA and Europe in sewage pumping stations, and can be very effectively used in Australia.  The Gorman-Rupp brand of wastewater pumps can deliver flows from 5 L/s to 150 L/s and deliver pressures to 90 metres with a single pump, so are hydraulically suitable for the vast majority of pumping stations in Australia.

When a pump station needs upgrading and the use of submersible pumps would require the construction of a new wet well, self-priming pumps can be mounted at ground level, with only the suction lines inside the wet well, enabling the re-use of the existing wet well, delivering substantial savings in capital costs. By going down this path, designers will also be setting asset owners up with equipment that is much safer to operate and much easier to maintain.

Because the self-priming pump station is located at ground level, the pumps, valves and all mechanical equipment is easily accessed for monitoring and maintenance. The discharge of the new station will link up to the existing rising main, but the “old” valve vault can be dispensed with, reducing another hazardous work area. One operator can now safely access and maintain all the equipment at the station without the need for cranes, crane trucks or confines spaces equipment.

Self-priming pumps are also a good option for upgrading wet well/dry well arrangements. A new self-priming station can be positioned [at ground level] directly above the old wet well, and suction lines “dropped” into this wet well. Old dry wells and motor gallery areas can be decommissioned, bringing everything associated with the pump station to the surface for greatly easier access.

More information on pump station upgrades may be obtained from Hydro Innovations at

If you’ve ever been frustrated by costly and time consuming chokes and maintenance on your submersible pump, read this guide:

how to simplify your pump maintenance