Refurbishing worn-out concrete pumping stations

Learn why installing a prefabricated pumping station is the most cost-efficient choice in refurbishment projects.

Refurbishment of worn-out pumping stations can be a both expensive and time-consuming affair with downtimes of up to several weeks. But it doesn’t have to be like that. In this module, you will learn how prefabricated pumping stations will save you both time and money – and understand why they are a preferred alternative to traditional concrete pumping stations in refurbishment jobs.   

Worn-out pumping stations are often characterised by concrete in bad shape and a risk that either wastewater leaks into the groundwater or that groundwater penetrates the pumping station. Both scenarios are unwanted for. If wastewater leaks into the groundwater the environment suffers. Groundwater traveling the opposite way means that unnecessary energy must be used to transport and later treat the water.   
The traditional approach to refurbishing a worn-out concrete pumping station is to build a new one in concrete. But it has its downsides. First of all, it’s very time-consuming having to dig a new hole, excavate the ground, construct the concrete pit and install the components. Next, it’s costly as a range of people and machinery need to be brought in to do the different jobs. And perhaps most importantly, you may be looking at extensive downtime – which requires the installation of costly temporary pumps and is a great inconvenience for residents in the area.

But why accept these circumstances when a prefabricated pumping station provides a time-saving and more cost-efficient solution? Prefabricated pumping stations are supplied with all necessary components and ready for installation underground. The planning is simple and the installation time short.    

There are three ways to refurbish an old concrete pumping station with a prefabricated solution:
• Slide-in installation
• Bypass installation
• Submerged to dry installation

Which to choose depends on the space available around the existing pit and equally important the accepted downtime.

Let’s take a look at the nature of the different options.   

The slide-in installation is the easiest solution and a great time-saver in terms of resources. The ready-to-use pumping station is simply lowered into the existing concrete structure, eliminating any need for tearing down and rebuilding. All connection work is also completely straightforward. The piping inside the station is easily connected to the existing pipework in the ground – which leaves you with downtime of less than 24 hours.

But downtime can be reduced even more than that. While the bypass solution requires the digging of a new hole it allows the old pumping station to stay in operation virtually up until the new station takes over. Once the new station is in place the inlet pipe from the old pumping station is simply connected to the new station while the discharge pipe from the new station is connected to the piping in the ground – and it’s ready to go. The old station can now be disconnected, leaving you with an estimated downtime of very few hours.

Finally, there is the option of a submerged to dry installation. Just like the bypass solution, the submerged to dry solution is placed in a separate hole next to the old pumping station. But instead of disconnecting the old station, it is used as a sump with suction pipes to the new station. This means that the new pumping station stays entirely dry, allowing easy access for pump maintenance and service. As for downtime, this is kept to a minimum as the old station can stay in operation while work around the new pumping station is carried out.

So, in summary let’s recap the benefits of choosing prefabricated pumping stations for refurbishment jobs:
• Lower cost – because less work is required
• Long life – the old structure is rebuilt for life with no risk of leakage
• Less downtime from start to finish – and in turn less inconvenience for residents

Course overview

Modules: 3
Completion time
Completion time: 30 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Basic