Prefabricated Valve Vault in a Romtec Utilities Project

The Advantages of Valve Vaults in Wastewater Lift Stations

Prefabricated Valve Vault in a Romtec Utilities Project

When Romtec Utilities designs a wastewater lift station, a valve vault is typically included in the design. These below-grade structural components can be affordably manufactured out of precast concrete and fiberglass. The entire valve assembly is typically housed in the vault below the ground for a multitude of reasons, including site traffic, aesthetics, safety, security, or weather and frost protection. Valve vaults provide many distinct advantages that benefit lift station owners and operators who utilize in-ground valve assemblies.

The first advantage is the ease of use. A valve vault gives a lift station operator a clear view of the mechanical assembly. This can be advantageous when diagnosing a problem with the valve assembly. The ease of access makes it possible to quickly perform valve maintenance while minimizing downtime, which is imperative with sewage pumping. It also makes some tasks, like connecting a bypass pumping line, easier because there is ample room to work and operate tools. For below-grade valve assemblies, there is nothing easier for operation than a valve vault.

Another advantage of valve vaults is that they eliminate confined space restrictions. Confined spaces can be a difficult classification for lift station owners because most states and jurisdictions require specific trainings and procedures to access the spaces. If below-grade valves are not in a vault structure, the next typical placement is in the wet well or sump. Locating valves in the wet well provides many of the same benefits as a vault except the valves are harder to access, in a confined space, and exposed to corrosive elements. Eliminating the concern of a confined space means that more personal can service the valves without special training, and it is much safer.

The final advantage to be discussed was just mentioned: separating the valve assembly from corrosive elements. Sewage can produce significant quantities of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) in hot climates or infrequent pumping cycles, but smaller levels can also damage mechanical components over time. Locating the entire valve assembly in a vault structure will remove any concerns of valve deterioration occurring from H2S off-gassing. This benefit lengthens the life and functionality of a lift station’s valve assembly.

Romtec Utilities advocates the use of valve vaults when complete valve assemblies need to be located in the ground because of these and other advantages. When beginning your wastewater lift station project, remember these advantages because the valve vault is a key structural component to successful lift station design. Feel free to Contact Us with any questions you have about the advantages of valve vaults or share your photos and stories with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Comments 2

  1. Why have in ground vs above ground valve vault? although client proposed above ground, client wants the valve assembly, vent and valve control in ground because they don’t want to see the lift station at all.

    Do you sell/service in ground systems? If so, I’d like to speak with someone in your company. I’m a civil engineer designing a project that requires a lift station here in Southern California.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *