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Pump Stations

Pump Stations Keep It On The Move

Each day, across our planet, the many miles of pipes that make up complex transport systems serve to carry one substance or another from some point to some other point. Over fields of frozen tundra, across the burning desert sands or in the ocean’s depths, water, oil and gas are always on the move, serving the needs of people both at home and in the workplace. To maintain the flow, pump stations, provide the vital force that ensures a smooth service.

A pipeline can only move fluids without help when on a downhill slope, when gravity alone is enough to do the job. In the real world, though, fluids must often travel uphill or along a fairly level surface for great distances and, in this type of locale, some extra source of motive power is now needed.

The answer is a pump, and these are often housed in purpose built pump stations that may also include some form of control system that can be used to adjust the flow rate and pressure within the pipeline.

Installations Require Careful Planning

Calculating the best point for these stations, choosing the correct pumps to handle the material that is to be pumped and the controls required to best meet the demands of the job are specialist tasks and making the correct decisions will be vital to the future of any pipeline system.

Once installed, pump stations then need constant and on-going care. Where pipelines are very long and in remote areas where inspection by patrols on foot may be less practical, much of the monitoring may be done electronically. Sensors report on changes in pressure or flow that could signal a leak or warn repair crews of a developing problem.

The Placement Of Pump Stations

In a country as poor in water resources as South Africa the central government as well as local municipalities need to take extreme care to utilise the water resources in as most logical a manner as possible. Or this reason the central planning that is involved in the distribution of water has to be undertaken with due care. The latest census seems to indicate that South Africa is undergoing a period of rapid urbanisation and this is placing even more strain on existing water transport infrastructure, including pipelines and pump stations.

The government and its partners at regional and local level have been successful in replacing old and damaged portions of the water transport pipeline network and this replacement has prevented the rate of loss of water through burst and damaged pipes from spiralling out of control. The functioning of the new pipelines has also been supplemented by the installation of new pump stations and even through the building of new dams and the better management of catchment areas.

The increased urbanisation experienced in South Africa has necessitated the installation of more pump stations for the handling of increased amounts of raw sewage. This sewage is fed to wet wells where automated sensors monitor the level of the sewage. Once the sewage has reached a predetermined level the pump stations then pump the sewage to its final destination which in South Africa is increasingly a sewage treatment plant. The lack of potable water in the country obtained from natural sources such as rivers and dams is now increasingly being supplemented by water supplied by treating sewage. This water can then be used as drinking water or for irrigation purposes, depending on the level of treatment.

Types of Pumps Used for Water Supply

Agriculture is one of the most important industrial sectors of the South African economy. Agriculture supplies food not only to retail outlets but also to governmental and emergency services who in turn supply the neediest of the country’s citizens during times of drought, flood or other natural disasters. The agricultural sector also supplies South Africa’s export markets with various consumables and perishable foodstuffs and is one of the country’s most important foreign exchange earners. In order for the agricultural sector to operate at full capacity farmers make use of various types of pumps to ensure the steady supply of water to crops or use pumps to deal with flooding that may adversely affect harvests.

Some of the most widely used pumps are fully submersible borehole pumps which feature a hermetically sealed casing which allows the pumps to operate while fully submerged in water. These pumps are used not only for the supply of water to agriculture bit can also be used for the supply of domestic water. The water supplied by domestic pumps can contain high levels of alkalis which make it unfit for human consumption. This water can be used for cleaning, garden irrigation, fire control and the filling of swimming pools.

The Designing of Pumping Stations for Maximum Water Utilisation

When designing pumping stations engineers must take into account the location of the water source, the terrain that must be covered by a pipeline network, as well as the requirements for service and maintenance of the pumping stations. The designing of pumping stations in South Africa has taken on a new urgency given the increased demand for fresh potable water in the urban centres of the country.

Prior to the designing of these pumping stations these engineers must also take into account the current state of the piping systems that supply water to many homes in the country. These piping systems can only be placed under a minimal amount of pressure due to the fact that they were designed to service a specific number of homes. This number of homes has been exceeded due to increased numbers of homes being constructed in South Africa’s urban centres.

Breakdowns Cost Time And Money

When pipelines leak or one of the pumps becomes faulty, the costs can be high. Only when using the best pump stations, pipelines and pumps can one hope to keep costly downtime at bay. Skilled fitting, quality pumps and an expert service and repair team are vital so be sure to contact us first.



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