Getting to Dry Land

Big construction and unforeseen water obstacles don’t mix well. Here are some guidelines for choosing the right pump for the job.

Move that water out of the way. It’s often the first thing that that needs to be done on construction sites, or after an area is flooded because of a natural event like a hurricane. Time to bring in a pump. But not all pumps are created equal.

If it’s construction, time is money. If it’s the aftermath of flooding from a natural event or accident, time adds to destruction and loss of life. Choosing the right pump to move water shouldn’t be a guessing game. Here’s what you need to know.

Construction Dewatering

Construction site groundwater has to be removed before foundations can be poured. Sites free of large areas of water remove hazards so people can safely work.

The right pump to quickly remove water from construction sites is only part of the solution here. That water has to go somewhere. Just moving it from one area to another can cause unintended consequences, like erosion.

Submersible electric pumps often work best for this purpose. They’re impeller-driven, making them quiet and easy to maintain. These pumps also can be to run in vertical, horizontal or practically any angle necessary to get at the water.

Trash pumps make more sense if the water removed has an inconsistent flow, or if there’s debris in it. These pumps are designed to handle sand, slurries and other abrasive materials. And, unlike other types of pumps, they can run dry if they get ahead of the pumping job.

Bypass Pumping

There’s good water, and there’s bad water. If it’s sewer water, you don’t want it to contaminate nearby fresh water sources. It can also be a hazard to nearby construction projects.

Big storms can overwhelm sewers. It might be necessary to bring in pumps to help with the overflow. Bypass pumping is a necessity when sewage drains and treatment systems are being replaced or repaired. It’s also more of a process than a particular type of pump.

Hydraulic submersible trash pumps are rugged and reliable. They do well for bypass pumping. They’re made to prime and reprime automatically, which means these pumps don’t need constant attention.

Larger pumps of this type are a good choice when there’s a possibility the water being moved might contain big pieces of material that can overwhelm and clog smaller pumps.

Flood Control

Floods don’t schedule themselves in our appointment books. When they happen, it’s important to move the water as fast as possible to prevent further damage.

Axial flow and mixed flow pumps are often the first pieces of big equipment to arrive after a flood. There’s really nothing high-tech or innovative about them. These Lineshaft pumps connect a large-volume impeller to the drive by means of a long shaft. Technology has improved many things, but there hasn’t been anything better to pump large quantities of water.

Open Pit Dewatering

It is exactly like it sounds. Whether it’s natural or man-made, there’s a pit full of water that’s in your way. The water is pumped from the bottom of the pit. Often, the pump is suspended under a float or raft.

High-head drainage pumps make most sense here, especially if it’s a deep pit. In this case, “head” is the height at which the pump can raise water up so it can be removed. Pits tend to be full of detritus and submerged surprises. Submersible slurry pumps are recommended to work in conjunction.

The Lay of the Land

A pump isn’t much good if you can’t get it to where it needs to be on the site. Most pumps are trailer or skid-mounted. A trailer-mounted pump system is portable, but be sure to consider the additional space it’ll need. You may be better off with a skid-mounted pump. Plan space for the pump’s accessories, too.

Getting water out of the way includes more than just choosing the right pump. EPA regulations and the Clean Air Act impose serious consequences if you fail to do what’s required with this water once you’ve moved it out of your way. Use the right pump for the job, and do the right thing with the water. It’s good for you, your crew, and the environment.

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