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Avoiding Sedimentation and Air Entrainment in Pump Sump for Wet Pit Pumping Stations

[+] Author Affiliations
Raja Abou Ackl, Andreas Swienty, Paul Uwe Thamsen

Berlin Institute of Technology, Berlin, Germany

Flemming Lykholt-Ustrup

Grundfos, Bjerringbro, Denmark

Paper No. AJKFluids2015-33761, pp. V01AT33A018; 9 pages
  • ASME/JSME/KSME 2015 Joint Fluids Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1A: Symposia, Part 2
  • Seoul, South Korea, July 26–31, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5732-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by JSME


In many places lifting systems represent central components of wastewater systems. Pumping stations with a circular wet-pit design are characterized by their relatively small footprint for a given sump volume as well as their relatively simple construction technique [1]. This kind of pumping stations is equipped with submersible pumps. These are located in this case directly in the wastewater collection pit. The waste water passes through the pump station untreated and loaded with all kind of solids. Thus, the role of the pump sump is to provide an optimal operating environment for the pumps in addition to the transportation of sewage solids. Understanding the effects of design criteria on pumping station performance is important to fulfil the wastewater transportation as maintenance-free and energy efficient as possible. The design of the pit may affect the overall performance of the station in terms of poor flow conditions inside the pit, non-uniform und disturbed inflow at the pump inlet, as well as air entrainment to the pump.

The scope of this paper is to evaluate the impact of various design criteria and the operating conditions on the performance of pump stations concerning the air entrainment to the pump as well as the sedimentation inside the pit. This is done to provide documentation and recommendations of the design and operating of the station. The investigated criteria are: the inflow direction, and the operating submergence.

In this context experiments were conducted on a physical model of duplex circular wet pit wastewater pumping station. Furthermore the same experiments were reproduced by numerical simulations.

The physical model made of acrylic allowed to visualize the flow patterns inside the sump at various operating conditions. This model is equipped with five different inflow directions, two of them are tangential to the pit and the remaining three are radial in various positions relative to the pumps centerline. Particles were used to enable the investigation of the flow patterns inside the pit to determine the zones of high sedimentation risk. The air entrainment was evaluated on the model test rig by measuring the depth, the width and the length of the aerated region caused by the plunging water jet and by observing the air bubbles entering the pumps. The starting sump geometry called baseline geometry is simply a flat floor. The tests were done at all the possible combinations of inflow directions, submergence, working pump and operating flow.

The ability of the numerical simulation to give a reliable prediction of air entrainment was assessed to be used in the future as a tool in scale series to define the scale effect as well as to analyze the flow conditions inside the sump and to understand the air entrainment phenomenon. These simulations were conducted using the geometries of the test setup after generating the mesh with tetrahedral elements. The VOF multiphase model was applied to simulate the interaction of the liquid water phase and the gaseous air phase.

On the basis of the results constructive suggestions are derived for the design of the pit, as well as the operating conditions of the pumping station. At the end recommendations for the design and operating conditions are provided.

Copyright © 2015 by JSME



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