Most if not all municipal wastewater systems have lift stations. An urban center must have a lift station as it relates to water. In that respect, they should be frequently maintained to ensure smooth operations. Lift operators performing poorly can be disastrous, particularly in the event of an overflow. Apart from the unsanitary conditions derived from an overflow, environmental regulatory bodies may impose a hefty punitive fine. It is therefore important to monitor the stations’ water levels. Level sensors can automatically switch off the pumps while raising the alarm. Several instruments can be adopted when monitoring lift stations. The ultrasonic level sensor does not get into contact with the liquid easing its maintenance requirement. Alternatively, when compared to other non-contact level market sensors, the installation has been simplified greatly. Just like any other sensing technology, there are various conditions to look out for as you to ensure the sensors function optimally. Here are guidelines n using ultrasonic level sensors when in a lift station.
Good Sensing Range
This applies to all models of ultrasonic sensor applications. The different sensor models have their unique sensor models. The catch here is to opt for a sensor model with twice the sensing range as the target distance. For instance, if the lift stations bottoms at 25 feet, opt for a sensor that runs till 50 feet. This is important to offset the possibility of a return echo. The larger the ultrasonic range, the greater the transducer. The larger the transducer, more energy is emitted. A strong return signal is important as lift stations comprise of surface turbulence, foam, among other conditions.
When in low quantities, foam poses no threat. However, if the station experiences several inches of a thick foam layer, it is inadvisable to employ an ultrasonic sensor. This is due to their reliance on sound waves bouncing off their targets. Sound echo well on smooth targets. Unfortunately, the foam is neither hard nor smooth. The foam will absorb the sound wave rather than reflect. In applications ridden with foam, ultrasonic sensors will give erratic readings.
Obstructions such as Piping
Pipes and metallic fixtures are examples of hard targets within the lift station. If detected by the sensors, this can result in false readings. To avoid such distortions, give your sensors a clear line of sight straight down to the water level. Remember, sound waves spread out and travel opposite to your sensor face.
Use a Stilling Well
Among the expected surface turbulence in water stations is the wave action from the movement of water. Surface turbulence is hardly a problem if you are using ultrasonic sensors. Install a stilling well if the surface turbulence still exists.
A Backup Plan
You must have some backup system that raises the alarm when using a primary level sensor. As with most lift stations, the ultrasonic sensors are highly recommended. It is not surprising for some operators t install two continuous level sensors accompanied by high point level switches.