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Is Your Pumping Station Capacity ACTUALLY Correct?

A pumping station is commonly used for sewage, storm and wastewater management where a property sits at some distance or below the level of the nearest gravity drain. When waste collecting in a chamber reaches a certain level, a monitor automatically activates a pump that empties the chamber into the gravity drain.

When specifying a pumping station it is important to understand how capacity is calculated; we have included an illustration to explain this clearly.

The ‘dead area’ shown here in green will always be full to ensure the pump is kept primed and doesn’t run dry. When the level in the pumping station falls to the top of the dead area the pump will automatically switch off.

The ‘operational area’ shown in blue is the minimum-maximum capacity of the chamber. When the level reaches the top of the operational area the pump will be automatically activated and the chamber will be drained until the level subsides to the bottom of the operational area.

When the level in the station rises to the ‘emergency storage’ area shown in red it triggers an alarm. This gives 24 hours’ notice before the level reaches that of the incoming drain pipe. If the chamber continues to fill – for example, if the pump is faulty or fails to activate – there is a high risk that waste will start to back up in the incoming drain pipe.

The volume of the emergency storage area – not that of the entire chamber – is the pumping station capacity.

This is important when specifying a suitable pumping station for your property, as the idea that pumping station capacity is equal to chamber volume is a common misconception even in the water management industry.

If you would like to find out more about our range of pre-packaged and site-built pumping stations or our service and maintenance packages, you can visit our website, email us at or speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable team on 0118 986 6101.


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