Understanding your part as a Lift Stations Technician: Purpose of Lift Stations
Lift Stations are used to lift or raise wastewater or stormwater to a higher elevation by utilizing centrifugal or pneumatic ejectors.
Lift Stations represent a large capital expenditure for a community and require an adequate budget to operate and maintain them properly.
Failures of lift stations and force mains can have significant impact on the environment if raw wastewater is discharged improperly, over lands, streams or rivers.
Lift Station failures can cause thousands of dollars in environmental clean -up and fines.
These failures are often attributed to lack of maintenance, Lack of technician attentiveness, Lack of funding, or total neglect.
If a technician doesn’t have the level of knowledge and skills needed to understand the complex system that a lift station is, they will be unable to develop a maintenance plan. If operation and maintenance are not understood, lift stations can deteriorate resulting in system failures.
Lift Stations should be operated and maintained in a manner that is acceptable to the neighborhood and is not creating public nuisance or safety hazard.
The appearance of the lift station, building, grounds should blend in with the surrounding environment. If in areas where the environment is not the norm, this does not mean that the station should be in shambles as well.
Odors must be controlled, and noise should be kept to a minimum to prevent. There are several methods to include biological bacteria and or chemical additions to control odors as well as Hydrogen sulfide and methane gaseous that are often found within the collection system .
If chemicals are added to the lift station, as part of a maintenance plan, then care must be taken to ensure the proper handling of chemicals, safe storage, and to reduce visibility of chemicals and ensure any deliveries of the chemicals do not impact the neighborhood during deliveries.
The maintenance program must include reliability of the lift station pumps, electrical controls, floats and valves and designed to minimize the chances of failures prevent flooding of homes, and streets.
Stations must be designed and maintained to be able to provide continuous operations.
Electrical System at the lift station must comply with National Electrical Codes.
Wet Wells equipment located in the wet well should be at minimal. Suction, discharge valves, check valves should be installed to where routine inspections and maintenance can be performed.
Lift stations are typically designed for maximal peak flows, when these flows do not occur, meaning longer detention or holding times in the station. Provisions should be made to keep the wastewater fresh.
Air Release Valves are installed throughout force mains, which the raw wastewater is pump into from the lift stations. Raw wastewater contains varying amounts of entrained air which also contains gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide from anaerobic digestion of wastewater in the collection system.
The air and gases will separate from the water and rise at the high points in the force mains.
These gas bubbles can create two problems:
- they reduce the effective diameter of the pipe
- they cause a condition known as water hammer, in which high pressures causes shock waves which travel up and down piping and in turn can caused piping, valve and pump failures or damage.
All air release valves and suction valves should be routinely inspected and maintained for proper operations of the force main.
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