If you’re a potential homebuyer, you may have heard of sewage grinder/lift stations but aren’t quite sure what they are and when you might encounter one. In this post, we’ll explain what these systems are, how they work, and the maintenance requirements for such systems.
Sewage grinder/lift stations are wastewater pumping systems used in residential applications where gravity sewer lines are not feasible due to the location or topography of the property, or installed in basements where newer plumbing has been installed below the level of the sewer or septic main. It’s common to encounter a lift station in homes where the basement had been left unfinished after initial construction, and then finished out with new bathrooms or other water fixtures years later.
The main components of a sewage grinder lift station are a pit or basin, a grinder pump, check valves, and piping. The pit or basin is where wastewater from the property’s plumbing fixtures is collected. The grinder pump is installed at the bottom of the pit and is responsible for breaking down solid waste and debris before pumping the wastewater out of the basin. The check valves are located in the piping and prevent wastewater from flowing back into the basin when the pump is not running.
Now, let’s dive into how these systems work. A residential sewage lift station consists of a pit or basin, pumps, control panel, and piping. The pit or basin collects sewage from the building’s plumbing fixtures and holds it until a certain level is reached. Once the level is reached, the pumps are activated automatically or manually, which lifts the wastewater to a higher elevation and moves it into the main sewer line.
Regular maintenance by a licensed plumbing contractor is recommended for these systems to ensure proper function.