May 24, 2024

Understanding Sewer Bypass Pumping and Plugging

With federal funds available to strengthen our aging infrastructure, many municipalities are repairing or renovating storm and sanitary sewers. Sewer bypass pumping jobs use plugs and surface pumps like the Atlas Copco PAS series to bypass the section of pipe requiring repair and keep effluent moving.

Pneumatic plugs
Pneumatic plugs are comprised of an inflatable ball that expands to seal the pipe. During sewer bypass pumping, the plugs must be matched to pipe size and pressure requirements before carefully being inflated with an air compressor to prevent dislodging or rupture of the plug. Knowing the composition of the effluent is also important as certain chemicals can cause plugs to rupture.

Plugs are used on a temporary basis for three purposes in a sewer rehabilitation: to block a pipe, to bypass effluent, or to test for leaks.

Blocking plugs do what the name implies; they stop flow through the pipe during sewer bypass pumping projects so repairs can be made.

Bypass plugs, known as a muni ball plugs, have a tube that can allow liquid to flow through during bypass pumping. They may also be used for monitoring and testing sewer systems and for blocking. Specially designed bypass plugs can handle the high back pressure from water mains, force mains, and industrial lines.​​

Because of the pressure involved, safety precautions must be followed to prevent damage to the system and property as well as serious bodily injury or death. A danger zone extends from the plug through the pipe and then in a cone-shaped area as it extends beyond the pipe or manhole.

Self-priming surface pumps

Sewer bypass pumping projects rely on self-priming surface pumps like the Atlas Copco PAS series to transfer water and sewage, maintaining uninterrupted service. A closed impeller can handle large solids up to 3.5” with minimal clogging. Atlas Copco’s hinged cover provides direct access to the impeller and volute, making clearing any debris a breeze. Sound attenuated pumps keep noise decibels down, important for municipal sewer work in neighborhoods. To properly size a bypass pump, it is important to know the desired peak flow rate in gallons per minute and the static head.

Experts in sewer bypass pumping
FieldForce provides equipment and services for municipal sewer bypass pumping projects and other water management projects for the municipal, construction, manufacturing, and industrial sectors. We have Atlas Copco pumps, compressors, and generators available for rent or purchase, and a range of temporary piping, filtration equipment, light plants, and heaters available to rent. Call us today to learn more. 717-508-0550