Storm Water Pump Stations (Lift Stations)

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in blog, storm water | 0 comments

Storm Water Pump Stations (Lift Stations)

Storm water pump stations, also called lift stations, are used to get water from low lying areas to higher areas so they can drain away from the property. In many cases these lift stations are installed where detention ponds, parking garage basements or elevator sumps may be below the surrounding grade. When this happens these low lying areas cannot drain because they sit below the level of the nearest drainage, whether that be storm sewer, ditch or other conveyance. The size and quantity of pumps in a lift station are calculated based on a number of factors including how much drains into them, how much rain potentially could fall on this drainage area, and how much water can the conveyance being pumped to accept. It’s not just as fast as possible, as that would create a “wall of water” headed downstream and potentially flood people downstream of your property. Some lift stations can pump out the water but if receiving conveyances are still full then the pumps simply overwhelm the systems and the overflow runs back into your property, as shown in the above picture.


While lift stations are not new to technology, Archimedes created a version based on ideas from the 500-1000 BC Assyrian and Egyptian engineers, they are advanced today. With the use of delay pump technology, flood control can be achieved by designing a detention pond that holds water for 48-72 hours after a rainfall event before being pumped out in an effort to allow the watershed to drain some before adding more water. Also, the use of transducer or float type actuators means that pumps can turn on in stages as water levels rise in the system. And there are even alternators which switch the use of one pump during this event and then use the second pump on the next event, in an attempt to prevent one of the pumps from premature overuse.  The control panels for these pump stations are fairly simple to navigate with some general physics and electrical knowledge but they are not to be handled by amateurs. There is a huge risk of shock and electrocution by touching any one of the hot wires inside the panel. It is recommended that you call out an experienced pump station tech to troubleshoot and repair your panel or your pumps in side of your lift station. 

If your lift station doesn’t seem to be working properly or you just want to give it a check up, call Storm-Tex Services at 832-510-7250 to set up a service call.

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