Lift Stations: To Repair? Or to Replace?

Do your repair something or replace it: The age-old maintenance question when it comes to well, virtually everything. Lift stations, included!

What makes lift station services a little different though – is that when it comes to a home appliance or your car, you don’t have to run things through a public works director, have a long-term planning strategy, engineers and the like. Today, we’re going to talk about what some of the determining factors are when it comes to lift station maintenance and what makes the most financial sense when it comes to repairing or replacing a lift station. Let’s jump right in!

Repairing or replacing

Anytime as a public works director, operator or engineer, you need to consider the long term implications of doing, well – anything. Putting a band-aid on something might be the only viable financial choice, but in most situations – you need to consider the next few decades, not just the next few months. 

If you’re dealing with an existing lift station or pump – you need to take a variety of factors into consideration – ranging from the daily flow rate – what it’s restrictions are and whether your physical space can handle an increased flow rate. If not, you might need to replace the pumps and potentially the entire pump station because of the sudden increase in demand. 

Additionally, you could also consider building a second pumping station directly next to the existing one. This can save you lots of money – especially on bypassing, where you’ll have to purchase or rent equipment to bypass the old station.

There also needs to be a conversation about the age of your station and whether it simply lasted past its service life. Just like anything, lift stations can only take so much wear and tear and eventually – even the stations which are cared for the best – will fail at some point. Making the larger, up-front investment in a new lift station may be your only choice.

We always tell people  to consider the following:

  • Since the lift station was built, what changes have happened to the system around it?
  • Is there an increase in flow?
  • Is the pump station simply past it’s service life?

If there’s been new development, then the chances are the pump station simply wasn’t designed for the increase in flows. If there’s an increase in demand, you need to have the lift station in place that can handle those increases. And if your station is simply too old, you’ll have to bite the bullet. 

Regardless of the need however, it’s important the municipalities do the right thing and set aside funds in anticipation of failure. Saving for the inevitable rainy day is always what’s most important. 

Hopefully, today’s blog gave you something to think about. If your system is in need of lift station services, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then, good luck in the new year!