Checklist for a Sewage Lift Station Maintenance

by David Stewart
Residential sewage systems eventually connect to a local water treatment plant.

Residential sewage systems eventually connect to a local water treatment plant.

Following a checklist for sewage lift station maintenance can save your community a great deal of money and avoid potential problems that pose health-related risks. Sewage lift station aids the municipalities in sewage treatment control of several neighborhood areas. Sewage lift stations contain pumps, valves and electrical equipment that function in pumping sewage waste water from lower areas to elevated pipe collection systems for further processing. Sewage lift stations require routine preventive maintenance for hassle-free year-round functioning.

Routine Inspections

Quarterly inspection of submersible pumps, impellers, and floats allows for clearance of debris and grease that hamper proper functioning. Half yearly inspection of check valves ensures proper valve function that restricts backflow from the force main to the wet well. Wet well cleaning is done at least twice a year to avoid odor emanating solid and grease build-up that also causes pump damage. The electrical motor equipment has to be inspected twice a year to identify poor connections and replace worn out parts. Light and alarm system need to be inspected every week.

Installation Checks

Hour meter installations on each motor record the number of motor cycles and therefore is a measure of the amount of pumped water. When the motor hours differ by over 10 percent, the impeller is checked for debris. The pumps and valves are accessed through a hatch during cleaning and maintenance. Amp readings on the motors are an indication of motor function. It is checked every month for manufacturer’s specification; if not, the propeller is checked for debris lodge, or motor housing or wiring is checked for water entry. Recording of motor hours, amp readings and maintenance dates in a log book is mandatory.

Emergency

Any lift station failure must be responded to immediately with an appropriate back-up plan. The alarm system should be in working order to immediately alert the authorities to problems; the alarm should ring to an on-call operator to identify, correct, and document the cause. The log book is referenced for the maintenance dates and appropriate action is taken. Generator back-up for power outage during storms or usage of engine-driven pumps ensure unhindered sewage water treatment and processing. Some stations also use vacuum trucks to bypass pump stations in order to prevent service interruptions that cause sanitary sewer overflows.

Testing Procedures

Internal TV inspection program involves television monitoring that helps to detect any system failure that is overlooked in routine maintenance. All main lines are also checked by TV inspection after any repair work. Critical lines need to be cleaned regularly to avoid problems from tree roots, dip in a line, and plugging and clogging due to debris and grease. The site is inspected by qualified personnel and checked for standard maintenance procedures; any new or rehabilitated construction is tested and inspected by air testing or infiltration testing, in addition to TV monitoring.

About the Author

Hailing out of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Stewart has been writing articles since 2004, specializing in consumer-oriented pieces. He holds an associate degree in specialized technology from the Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images