Pumping Stations

What is a sewage pumping station?

The sewage system’s function

A sewage system is made up of a network of different-sized pipes that carry surface and foul water sewage away from homes and businesses to the main sewers. Ordinarily, the network of pipes relies on gravity for the waste to flow into the main sewer.

However, in low-lying areas where the main sewer sits on higher ground levels than the domestic sewage pipes, the sewage needs to be transported to the main sewer in a different way. This is where sewage pumping stations come in.

Pumping Station FAQs

What is a sewage pumping station?

A pumping station is made up of a large tank (manufactured from precast concrete, polyethylene or glass-reinforced plastic), known as a wet well, which acts as the receiver for sewage from a building, business or a group of buildings.

The sewage will then sit in the well until it reaches a predetermined level. Once it reaches this level, a pump will kick in to pressurise the sewage so that it will travel out of the wet well, uphill, to the point where it can enter the main sewer. In most cases the sewage will be pumped into a break chamber, then fall by gravity into the main sewer.

When do you need a pump station?

  • If the cost of the groundworks required to allow sewage to flow by gravity outweighs the cost of a sewage pumping station.
  • When the sewer line passes over a ridge.
  • Where basement floors are too low to allow sewage flow by gravity.
  • Where a gravity system has not been built.

Advantages of a sewage pump station

  • A pump station offers convenience when installing a sewage system, and has the potential to save time and cut construction costs.
  • Pump stations are fitted with remote monitoring systems, which keep operators updated.
  • Sewage is pumped automatically without any human contact, which eliminates the risk of health problems.
  • Different sizes of pumps are available for domestic applications and commercial applications.
  • The intake of the pumps is often wide, to prevent blocking.
  • Sewage pumping systems are fitted with alarms to alert you to problems with the system. This minimises the risk of sewage overflowing as you are alerted quickly.
  • Pumping station are fitted with two pumps, one as the main and the other as a backup.


  • Design and installation needs to be done expertly to ensure that the system is reliable and fit for purpose. This requirement for expertise means that it can be costly.
  • Although the pump systems generally don’t use much power, there is still a cost for the electricity compared with using a gravity system.
  • It can be difficult to source parts for your pump. This can be avoided by taking up a maintenance contract.
  • Fat and grease build-ups can impact reliability.
  • Although pumps are selected to minimise the risk of blockages, there is still potential for blockages to occur.
  • Maintenance costs are necessary.




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