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Emergency Preparedness: What to Do When Your Lift Station Fails

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Lift stations are big-time components for managing wastewater for municipalities, industries, and residential areas. They function by lifting wastewater from lower to higher elevations to ensure it reaches treatment facilities. However, these systems can fail for a variety of reasons, including equipment malfunctions, power outages, and severe weather conditions. Being prepared for these failures is vital to prevent environmental hazards, property damage, and significant repair costs. With our help, lift station owners can effectively respond to emergencies and get their lift stations back up and running.

Common Causes of Lift Station Malfunctions

Lift stations consist of various components, each susceptible to specific types of malfunctions. While some are rare, many lift station problems are fairly common and afflict many lift station owners. Below are some of the most common malfunctions you should look out for:

Pump Failures

One of the most common issues facing lift stations is pump failure. Pumps are the heart of the lift station, moving wastewater through the system. They can fail due to power surges, mechanical breakdowns, or prolonged usage without maintenance. Regular inspections and maintenance are critical to detect signs of wear before they lead to failure.


Clogs are another frequent problem that can disrupt lift station operations. Non-flushable items, grease, and large debris can obstruct pipes and pumps, reducing their efficiency or stopping them altogether. Implementing strict waste disposal guidelines and regular cleaning schedules can help minimize clogs.

Electrical Problems

Lift stations rely heavily on electrical components to operate. Faulty wiring, failed sensors, or power outages can halt operations, leading to emergencies. Establishing a routine check on electrical systems and having backup power solutions in place are essential preventative measures.

Wear and Tear Issues

Over time, the components of a lift station can suffer from wear and tear, affecting their functionality. Consistent monitoring and replacing old parts can prolong the life of the lift station and maintain its efficiency.

Float Switch Issues

Float switches monitor the water level and signal the pump to turn on or off accordingly. Malfunctioning float switches can lead to overflows or pumps running dry, both scenarios causing damage to the system. Periodic testing and maintenance of these switches make sure they function accurately, protecting the system from potential damage.


Corrosion can compromise the structural integrity of lift stations, leading to leaks or failures in containment structures. Using corrosion-resistant materials and coatings during construction and maintenance can mitigate this risk. Regular inspections can also identify early signs of corrosion, allowing for timely interventions.

Debris Accumulation

Accumulation of debris in the wet well decreases the operational efficiency of a lift station and can lead to clogs or damage to the pumps. Scheduled cleaning and the installation of barriers to catch debris can help maintain the optimal functioning of the lift station.

Why You Don’t Want to Ignore Lift Station Issues and Failures

Ignoring lift station issues can lead to severe consequences, including environmental contamination, public health risks, and significant financial burdens due to the costs associated with emergency repairs, clean-up operations, and potential fines for regulatory non-compliance. Proactive maintenance and swift response to any signs of malfunction can prevent these outcomes, preserving the environment, public health, and financial resources.

Simple Troubleshooting Techniques for Your Lift Station

Should issues arise, here are some troubleshooting techniques owners can try:

  • Verify the electrical supply to ensure there’s no disruption affecting the lift station’s operations.
  • Conduct visual inspections of pumps for any signs of physical damage or wear, replacing parts as needed.
  • Remove visible obstructions in pipes or pumps with care to avoid damage to the system.
  • Test and recalibrate float switches to ensure they’re operating correctly, making adjustments or replacements where necessary.
  • Identify and repair any leaks within the system promptly to prevent water loss and potential environmental contamination.
  • Schedule regular debris removal from the wet well to prevent accumulations that can affect the system’s efficiency.

Power Outage? Call DG Lift Station Services to Pump Your Lift Station

Power outages can be particularly challenging for lift stations, as they can disrupt the normal operations of pumps and electrical components. In the event of a power outage, DG Lift Station Services offers prompt emergency pumping services to manage wastewater levels, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and preventing overflows. 

See How DG Lift Station Services Can Help You Navigate Lift Station Failures

At DG Lift Station Services, we also specialize in preemptive maintenance, repairs, and emergency responses for lift station failures. Our team brings knowledge and experience to address any issue your lift station may encounter, minimizing downtime and preventing costly damages. Contact us today to keep your lift station functioning efficiently and reliably.

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 |  St. Augustine  |  Orange Park  | 

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