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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 790. Sewage Collection and Treatment Regulations

9VAC25-790-380. Sewage Pumping.

Article 2
Sewage Pump Stations

A. Features. Sewage pump stations should be located as far as practicable from present or proposed built-up residential areas, and an all-weather road shall be provided. Stations should have a proper zone of controlled or limited use surrounding them. Within such zones, residential uses or high density human activities or activities involving food preparation should be prevented. Provisions for noise control and odor control, and station architectural design should conform to site requirements. Sites for stations shall be of sufficient size for future expansion or addition, if applicable. All mechanical and electrical equipment which could be damaged or inactivated by contact with or submergence in water (motors, control equipment, blowers, switch gear, bearings, etc.) shall be physically located above the 100-year flood/wave action or otherwise protected against the 100-year flood/wave action damage. All stations shall be designed to remain fully operational during the 25-year flood/wave action.

1. Where it may be necessary to pump raw (untreated) or unsettled sewage prior to grit removal, the design of the wet well shall receive special attention. The discharge piping shall be designed to prevent grit settling in the discharge lines when pumps are not operating.

2. At least two pumping units shall be provided. Where two units are provided, each shall be capable of handling flows in excess of the expected maximum flow or a minimum of 2-1/2 times the average design flow, whichever is greater. Where three or more units are provided, they shall be designed to fit actual flow conditions and must be of such capacity that, with any one unit out of service, the remaining units will have capacity to handle the maximum sewage flow or a minimum of 2-1/2 times the average design flow, whichever is greater. When the station is expected to operate at a flow rate less than one-half times the average design flow for an extended period of time, the design shall address measures taken to prevent septicity due to long holding times of untreated sewage in the wet well.

3. Treatment works pump stations should be designed so that sewage will be delivered to the treatment works at approximately the same rate it is received at the pump station. At least two pumping units shall be provided. Treatment works pump stations are those stations which discharge to sewage treatment works without dissipation of flow through a gravity collection system. Where only two pumping units are to be utilized, they shall be variable speeded and sized so that the pumps deliver from 1/2 to 2-1/2 times the average design flow or the maximum flow, whichever is greater, except where flow equalization is utilized in accordance with this chapter. Where constant speed pumps are to be utilized without equalization, either (i) at least three pumps, each having a capacity of approximately 1-1/4 times the average design flow, or (ii) two pumps, each having a capacity of approximately 1-1/4 times the average design flow, with the third pump having a capacity of 2-1/2 times the average design flow, shall be provided as needed to transfer the maximum flow. Multiple-speed pumps in lieu of variable speed pumps may be considered for specific applications. These criteria for influent flows will not apply to such treatment works where several days' holding capacity is provided, such as in stabilization ponds or in aerated lagoons.

4. Pumps handling raw sewage should be preceded by readily accessible bar racks with clear openings not exceeding 2-1/2 inches, unless pneumatic ejectors are used or special devices are installed to protect the pumps from clogging or damage. Where the size of the installation warrants, a mechanically cleaned bar screen with either a grinder or comminution device is recommended. Where screens are located below ground, convenient facilities must be provided for handling screenings. For the larger or deeper stations, duplicate protection units of proper capacity are preferred. Interceptor or separation basins may be necessary prior to pumps handling raw sewage.

5. Pumps in which the solids pass through the impeller(s) shall be capable of passing spheres of at least three inches in diameter. Pumping equipment having integral screens for preventing solids from passing through the impeller shall be capable of passing spheres of at least two inches in diameter. Pumping equipment preceded by grinding equipment shall be capable of passing the solids discharged from the grinding mechanism.

6. Pumps shall be so placed that under normal start conditions they will start with a positive suction head, except as specified for suction lift pumps. Each pump shall have an individual intake and suction line. Wet well design should be such as to avoid turbulence near the intake. Pump suction and discharge piping shall not be less than four inches in diameter except where design of special equipment allows. The design velocity in pump piping should not exceed (i) six feet per second in the suction piping, and (ii) in the discharge piping, eight feet per second. All pumps should be provided with an air relief line on the pump discharge piping.

7. Control float cages shall be so located as not to be affected by the flows entering the wet well or by the suction of the pumps. Float tubes will not be permitted in either the wet or dry well. Air-operated pneumatic controls are preferred for all sewage pump stations. Provisions shall be made to automatically alternate the pumps in use (which is referred to as lead-lag operation) unless adequate operation and maintenance is to be provided to protect against pump failure.

8. For the purpose of designating liquid levels for alarm requirements, high liquid level in the wet well is defined as a level of sewage in the wet well above normal operating levels such that either: (i) a backup of sewage in the incoming sewer may occur, or (ii) an overflow may occur, or (iii) standby pump(s) may be required to be activated. In the case of a duplex pump station with limited wet well volume, the alarm design should include activation at the time of simultaneous operation of both pumps, initiating when the second alternating pump starts (referred to as the lag pump).

9. Suitable shut-off valves shall be placed on each suction and each discharge line of each pump for normal pump isolation. A check valve is to be placed on each discharge line, between the shut-off valve and the pump. No shut-off valve need be placed on the suction side of suction lift or submersible pumps. Periodic exercising of valves should be specified within the routine maintenance programs.

10. System pump stations should have the provision for installing flow measuring devices when necessary. Consideration should be given to installation of such devices in system pump stations whose flow rate can affect the proper operation of the treatment works.

11. Adequate lighting for the entire pump station shall be provided in accordance with VOSH and other applicable codes and standards.

12. Pump stations shall be designed in accordance with the statewide building code and so as to minimize the adverse effects of vandalism. Pump stations shall be equipped with a secure external disconnect switch located above grade where possible.

B. Ventilation shall be provided in accordance with VOSH requirements and shall comply with this chapter for enclosed spaces within pump stations during all periods when the station is manned. Where the pump is permanently mounted below the ground, mechanical ventilation is required and shall be arranged so as to independently ventilate the dry well.

1. As a minimum, ventilation of the wet well shall be accomplished by the provision of a properly screened vent, with the end either turned downward or provided with a "mushroom" cap. The vent shall be at least four inches in diameter. If screens or mechanical equipment, which might require periodic maintenance and inspection, are located in the wet well, then it shall be mechanically ventilated at the time of access by maintenance personnel.

2. There shall be no interconnection between the wet well exhaust flow and the dry well ventilation systems. In pits over 15 feet deep, multiple inlets and outlets are desirable. Dampers shall not be used on exhaust or fresh air ducts, and fine screens or other obstructions in air ducts shall be avoided to prevent clogging. In climates where excessive moisture or low temperature are problems, consideration should be given to installation of automatic heating and dehumidification equipment.

3. Switches for operation of ventilation equipment shall be marked and conveniently located above grade and near the pump station entrance. Consideration should be given also to automatic controls where intermittent operation is used. The fan drive shall be fabricated from nonsparking material in accordance with applicable codes and standards.

4. Where heat buildup from pump motors may be a problem, consideration should be given to automatic cooling and ventilation to dissipate motor heat.

5. Ventilation of wet wells in accordance with VOSH requirements may be either continuous or intermittent. Ventilation, if continuous, shall provide at least 12 complete air changes per hour; if intermittent, at least 30 complete air changes per hour. Such ventilation shall be accomplished by mechanical means.

C. Water supply. There shall be no cross connection between any potable water supply and a sewage pump station which under any conditions might cause contamination of the potable water supply. Any potable water supply brought to the station shall comply with conditions stipulated in the Virginia Waterworks Regulations (12VAC5-590). Where conditions do not warrant the installation of an approved reduced pressure zone backflow prevention device on the water supply line to the pump stations, other approved devices may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

D. Service. Provisions shall be made to facilitate removing pumps, motors, and other equipment without interruption of system service while providing all necessary worker safety features.

1. In accordance with VOSH requirements, suitable and safe means of access shall be provided to dry wells and wet wells containing equipment requiring inspection or maintenance. Compliance with all applicable VOSH and Uniform Statewide Building Code requirements is recommended. All ladders shall have slip-resistant rungs.

2. If the dry well or wet well floor is more than 10 feet below the entrance, special consideration shall be given to safety features such as harness lifts, ladder cages, spiral stairways, or intermediate landings. Intermediate landings should not exceed 10 foot vertical intervals.

E. Wet wells. Proper design of wet wells is essential to effective pump station operation.

1. The wet wells at major pumping stations and in those located in critical areas should be divided into two sections properly interconnected to facilitate repairs and cleaning.

2. The wet well size and control settings shall be designed and operated so as to avoid heat buildup in the pump motor due to frequent starting and to avoid septic conditions due to excessive detention time.

3. Provisions shall be made to prevent solids deposition. Where used, wet well fillets shall have a minimum slope of one-to-one to the hopper bottom. The horizontal area of the hopper bottom shall be no greater than necessary for proper installation and function of the inlet.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.19 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 12VAC5-581-440 derived from Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. February 27, 2002; amended and adopted as 9VAC25-790-380, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 09, eff. February 12, 2004.

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