How to Complete A Successful Lift Station Rehabilitation

How to Complete A Successful Lift Station Rehabilitation
The typical lift station bypass will require a primary and a backup sound attenuated centrifugal or hydraulic water pump. These units will be set up to pump from the influent manhole prior to the wet well and discharge into an external pump-out. Typically, your pumps will be set up on auto start/stop floats or transducers to minimize run time and the amount of sound pollution. Most municipalities require a telemetry system for monitoring the performance of the system.  The following is a list of steps and information to gather in order to complete a successful lift station rehabilitation. typical lift station bypass layout


  • Review the project plans for the scope of work. Ask yourself, “is it a complete rehab including mechanical piping, electrical, new pumps, and lining of the wet well and/or valve vault?”
  • Review the specifications for bypass requirements and ask these questions. What type of pumps are required? Is sound attenuation required for quiet zones?  Is an electric primary and diesel backup preferred?  What redundancy is required?  Are telemetry systems required?
  • Determine max flow and max head pressure for the station. This information may be available in the plans and specs, or you may have to get this information from county records, plant operators, engineers, etc.
  • As a precautionary suggestion, add a 20% safety factor to your performance conditions for surges, rain events, rental pump wear, etc.
  • Run Total Dynamic Head calculations to determine pump size needed and hose/fittings that can handle the amount of pressure.
Mobilization Setup 

Perform a site visit that includes performing the following:

  • Determine the suction point. Ask yourself, “can the equipment pump out of the influent manhole? Are there multiple pipes going into the lift station that will require multiple systems? Can you install a pipe plug in the downstream pipe of the manhole and surcharge the manhole or do you need to use a flow through pipe plug in the manhole or wet well?”
  • Determine the discharge point and ask these questions. Are you discharging into the pump-out in valve vault, wet well or a separate manhole? What size/type is the connection point? Is it a flange or a quick connect fitting?
  • Take into consideration the scope of work of the lift station rehabilitation and any obstacles that will interfere with your bypass system.
  • Decide where to place the pumps. First measure the suction hose length to the manhole and the depth of the manhole, then measure the discharge hose length to discharge point. Include any applicable 90- elbows, check valves, tees/wyes/manifolds, etc. Check valves are essential on bypass systems and should be placed inline prior to connecting the primary and backup pumps to the main trunk discharge line.
Mobilization Setup


  • If using rigid pipe, install the bypass system from the discharge point working backwards to the pumps. Suction hoses will provide you flexibility to get into the influent manhole.
  • Measure the depth of the influent manhole and height of the strainer in order to set your low/stop floats above the top of strainer. Set your high/start float at the desired level to achieve a run-time of approximately 10 minutes to allow for battery recharge. Please note, your backup system high/start float should be slightly higher than the primary high/start float.  Determine the spill point on the system and stay below this level.
  • Secure floats in a manner that allows the floats to freely move up and down without getting tangled or having issues from turbulence. We suggest using a PVC float tree and attaching the floats to this tree to keep them functioning properly.
  • Test your floats and your telemetry system to insure proper functionality.
  • Prior to starting the bypass system, open all applicable valves on the discharge side of the bypass system and pump-out
  • Install a pipe plug if needed (which should be performed by a trained professional with possible confined space certifications).
  • Start up the pumps.
  • Check for any air or water leaks in hoses, fittings, connections, etc.
  • Monitor the bypass system cycle during peak and non-peak times to determine engine RPMs in order to give optimal vacuum and run-time. Run-time can be influenced by engine RPMs or the distance between the start and stop floats. Keep in mind that peak flow times change based on the environment
  • Upon completion of the project, close any valves between the bypass system and pump-out. Afterwards, flush and sanitize the bypass system prior to breaking down. Keep in mind when opening fittings/connections that the bypass system is under pressure.