A pumping station is a facility for pumping liquids from one place to another. Pumping stations are typically used when a normal gravity-fed system cannot be used, either due to fact that the collecting point is lower than the cesspit or there is insufficient gravity fall. Stations that pump liquids from one location to another are used for a variety of infrastructure systems, such as removing sewage to processing sites, supplying water to canals and draining low lying land.
If you have ever been camping in a low lying field and the heavens have opened causing your tent to float around in a pool of water, you will understand the importance of land draining. The most common method to drain land on low lying areas is to dig drainage ditches. Drainage ditches are not however a sufficient method of drainage in areas which are below sea level. In such areas it is necessary to pump the water upwards into water channels, which eventually channel into the sea.
Pumping stations are also used to remove any excess water that has seeped onto low lying regions as a result of flooding.
Sewage pumping stations are specifically designed to deal with raw sewage that has been fed from gravity pipes located underground. Similar to a septic tank, the sewage that is gravity-fed through pipes is stored in a pit underground. These pits are equipped with an electrical instrument that is designed to detect how much sewage is present in the pit.
Once the sewage reaches a certain level in the storage tank, a pump is activated and begins to lift the sewage upwards through a pressurised pipe system.
Supplying canal water
Pumping stations are used in countries which have canal systems integrated into the landscape. While canals are usually fed by controlling water from rivers and streams into the upper parts of a canal, such sources are not always available. This is when a pumping station is required to maintain a certain level of water within a canal system.
Canal pumps are often operated by a waterwheel that is powered by a river. These pumps then pump water from a river into a canal to ensure the canal’s water level is maintained.
Preserving the environment
With the increasing drive to adopt greener lifestyles and implement technology that is kinder to the environment, many new pumping stations are being designed with wildlife-friendly principles in mind. For example, fish scaring devices or low angle screens to divert water life away from pumping stations, are becoming a frequent feature of many new pumping stations.
Guest writer Diane Richards wrote this article for www.enviroservices.ie, suppliers of septic tanks.