Stationary Bypass Pumps Protect Lift Stations During Emergency Events

When a community receives massive amounts of rain, multiple lightning strikes, and 100+ mph winds, the subsequent damage can wreak havoc on its municipal wastewater systems, which can be rendered inoperable or even become overwhelmed by excess water. With hurricane season fast approaching and predicted to be explosive with potentially the highest-ever number of named storms, community leaders need to take action to ensure their municipalities are set up to weather the storm.

Municipal lift stations are often taken for granted until something goes wrong. Case in point: when Category 3 Hurricane Irma made landfall in southwest Florida in 2017, it devastated the region and delivered 100 mph winds and heavy rainfall directly through the City of North Port, Florida. In the aftermath of the storm, North Port’s Utilities Department experienced exponential inflow and infiltration, power outages and extensive property damage. The team immediately began assessing the damage to the city’s lift stations and what needed to be done to prepare for future events.

The public utility contacted Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company to design a more reliable solution to traditional backup power generation. It had to be robust and provide 100% redundancy – backup for both power failure and submersible pump failure and be independent of the electrical grid so as not to be affected by power surges. Additional requirements stipulated the lift stations be capable of starting and stopping automatically, have reliable priming systems, be able to pump wastewater debris and possess the capability to run unattended – especially during dire conditions such as hurricanes and floods – and be stationary.

The need for backup systems is not limited to regions subjected to hurricanes; super-cells, tidal surges, tornadoes and aging infrastructure failure all pose significant risks to safe and sanitary wastewater management.

It is in times like these when Thompson Pump and its products really shine; it is the company whose diesel-driven pumps keep lift stations operating

As the time-honored principle dictates: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Thompson Pump possesses considerable experience supplying portable, diesel-powered pumps to bypass lift stations throughout North America. These pumps are primarily used to provide temporary service during times when the lift stations undergo repair and scheduled maintenance. The solution became clear; size the pumps appropriately for the duty points required and install them permanently at the lift stations.

“Many of our municipal customers are realizing that a generator can only solve the power outage issue, but a diesel-powered Thompson Pump can provide a 100% backup solution to their lift station,” said Chris Thompson, President of Thompson Pump.

Many Advantages

  • Low acquisition and operating costs
  • Fully automatic and independent
  • Great reliability
  • Helps manage inflow and infiltration
  • Low complexity
  • Easily maintained
  • Nominal footprint
  • SCADA compliant
  • Improved environmental preservation with reduced possibility of SSO
  • Positive public opinion
  • Compliant with EPA requirements for wastewater collection systems

David Perry, Municipal Sales Manager for Thompson Pump, said of most major storms: “Municipalities that prioritize emergency preparedness do a better job at protecting their residents, visitors and the environment.”

The bottom line is safety, reliability and confidence

When communities experience a disaster, it is tough enough to deal with the emergency without compounding the problem by adding infrastructure failure. A community inundated with precipitated water is one thing, but when sewage and industrial waste escape respective systems, it becomes a public health issue. 

Civic leaders and utility providers do their communities a great service when they install permanently mounted backup systems that are ready to take over for regular lift-station operations when needed. 

About Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company:
An ISO 9001 Certified company, Thompson Pump and Manufacturing Company is an award-winning, full-service manufacturer and provider of high-quality, high-performance pumps, pumping equipment and engineering expertise for bypass pumping, dewatering, mining and flood control. Thompson Pump defines what is “state-of-the-art” in the industry and is dedicated to producing new and innovative dewatering and construction pump products. Family-owned and operated for more than 50 years, Thompson Pump continually seeks innovative and creative talent to join the team. For more, visit