What is the Systems Approach?

Submersible wastewater pump manufacturers have improved the performance of their products to a high degree, optimizing design and manufacturing techniques. Today, submersible wastewater pumps are highly efficient, extremely reliable, long lasting machines.
Submersible wastewater pumps, which are often purchased as individual components, provide a service only when operating as part of a total system. The proper design of that system – a submersible pump lift station – depends on many mutually dependent factors because these pumping stations are complex and their design requires considerable engineering expertise. By better understanding wet well design, hydraulics, and all of the components that make up these systems, “bottom-line” performance is optimized.

“The Systems Approach” encourages careful analysis of the end-use requirements to determine if the pump and each of the system components is efficiently sized and configured to meet the end-user requirements; screening the system to help optimize improvement opportunities; calculating life cycle costing for maximum energy efficiency; and finding symptoms that could lead to inefficiencies.

THE PUMP’S TASK – All pumping systems are comprised of a pump, driver, pipe system and operating controls. The pump’s task in the system is to deliver a liquid through pipes or ducts to a remote point against the systems pressure. When transporting fluid, the pump installation is sized to handle a maximum flow, which, in practice, often never occurs. The energy and materials consumed in accomplishing this task depend on the design of the pump, the design of the installation, and the way the entire system is operated and maintained.

To understand a complex pumping system like a submersible wastewater pump lift station, it must be realized that all of the system components are interdependent and must be carefully matched to each other and remain so throughout their working lives. Those system components typically include the source and designation sumps or tanks, individual pipelines, pumps, valves, and items that control the rate or direction of flow.

By publishing and promoting “The Systems Approach” information, SWPA is helping consulting engineers, ,specifiers, users, and others gain a better understanding of the pump, valves, control panels, VFD’s, basin, mechanical seals, and other components and how they interact for optimum performance, minimum maintenance and long life. SWPA’s efforts in this area are helping consulting engineers, specifiers, users, and others identify and understand what they must know about the total system to select the proper components for a given design.

BENEFITS OF “THE SYSTEMS APPROACH” - “The Systems Approach” promotes proper design by:

  • Determining the proper horsepower and impeller size of pumps
  • Determining the proper power requirements
  • Sizing the wet well, frame and covers, valves and other ancillary equipment.

“The Systems Approach” determines system responsibility because:

  • Complex systems with multiple component parts such as pumps, control systems, valves, and special start/stop units require unit responsibility
  • Unit responsibility eliminates the questioning of cause of failure and isolates it under a single source.
  • Reduces the time element for repairs.

“The Systems Approach” optimizes performance of the pumping system because it assures that the matching of multiple pieces of equipment will operate to provide the best performance.

“The Systems Approach” establishes a standard format for submittals and approvals since it:

  • Provides standard pump charts
  • Provides pump test standards
  • Provides engineering, application and operation manuals

“The Systems Approach” assures matching multiple pieces of equipment for optimum performance.

The concept of “The Systems Approach” is expanded in the Submersible Sewage Pumping Systems (SWPA) Handbook
First published in 1984, the first edition of the Submersible Sewage Pumping Systems (SWPA) Handbook was intended to familiarize and assist those responsible for the designing, installing and operating lift stations using submersible solids handling pumping systems. Now in its 4th Edition, and with over 30,000 copies sold globally, the SWPA Handbook emphasizes the design, construction, installation and operation of a system of carefully integrated components (The Systems Approach).