Jockey Pumps in Pump Station Design

Duplex Pump Configuration with a Jockey PumpRomtec Utilities designs pumps stations with jockey pumps for every major water type –wastewater, stormwater, industrial water, & clean water. Jockey pumps in pump stations are small, typically low horsepower, pumps that operate regularly to handle nuisance flows in a system designed for larger peak pumping rates. This allows the pump station to handle a very wide range of flow rates without increasing the wear on the large horsepower pumps.

Each jockey pump application typically has a different source for low flows of water such as repeated cleaning cycles, frequent light rain runoff, or condensation collection. These low flows are classified as nuisance because they are severely under the peak pumping rate for the design criteria of the pump station. Typically, the best design solution for handling nuisance flows is to include a jockey pump in the system.

On a recent project for an industrial client, the Romtec Utilities supplied lift station needed to handle low flows of dirty water. These flows came from an equipment cleaning process and from light rainfall runoff at the facility. Between these two flows, the jockey pump runs during the majority of the day. The lift station, however, is primarily designed to handle large dumps of process water that need to be pumped to treatment. Large Pioneer self-priming pumps in a duplex configuration alternate starts to pump the occasional dumps of process water. If these larger pumps were used to pump the nuisance flows, the frequent start and stop cycles would quickly wear out the large horse-power motors.

In stormwater systems, a jockey pump serves a different purpose. Although most regions have distinct rainy and dry seasons, rainfall events can occur even in dry months. Stormwater lift stations are typically designed per regional standards to meet a 10 or 100-year storm, whichever classifies the peak storm event. For peak flows, the pumps for the system are sized much larger than the typical rainfall. A jockey pump will alleviate the wear on the large pumps.

Jockey pumps can be a great way to increase pump station life-cycle. Small horsepower pumps are much less costly to maintain or replace, so using jockey pumps for the bulk of the system operating time is a good design practice.

Check out our Praxair Hydrogen Refinery project page to see an industrial jockey pump application.

Check out The Marke Luxury Apartments to see a stormwater jockey pump application.

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