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Pump problems encountered at wastewater pumping stations include excessive vibration, noise, cavitation damage to the impeller, accelerated bearing wear, and lower capacity than design. While each of these problems may be associated with improper pump selection or application, many pump problems can be attributed to an imbalance in the distribution of flows entering the pump. Fluctuations in flow velocities are directly affected by: (a) entrance conditions to the pump suction, including the design of wet wells and sumps, pump placement, flow patterns (pre-rotation and the severity of vortices), and the amount of air entrainment; and (b) geometry of the pump suction piping, including the use of elbows or horizontal intakes, valves, and reducers, and the occurrence of flow separation. Pump problems can be addressed by asking basic questions about the type of liquid being pumped and the type of pumps that are installed, and by utilizing troubleshooting tools such as hydraulic modeling. When modifying conventional raw sewage pumping stations, proper entrance conditions can be provided even when design and construction budgets are limited (examples are discussed).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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