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General Principles of Pumping Station Layout

John Poullain, P.E.

Course Outline

This two-hour online course provides general guidance and principles for the design and layout of flood control pumping stations. The general principles for pumping station design and layout for sumps, types of discharge and arrangements, types of pumps, sump types along with environmental, power and access considerations are discussed. Detailed design for pump stations and layout is presented in manuals as referenced.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this three-hour course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for civil, structural and mechanical engineers and planners.

Benefit to Attendees

The student will become familiar with and gain knowledge of a wide range of items involved in the design and layout of flood control pumping stations, all which must be considered and evaluated for an economic and efficient facility. Items discussed include the capacity, type, size and number of pumps and sumps, the interrelation between pumps and sumps and the siphon and discharge arrangements. The student will gain a general understanding of pumping station trash racks and rakes, cranes will understand how these items serve to configure or site the end product, a dependable pumping station. Also discussed are the importance of power supplies, access and environmental protection.

Course Introduction

A pumping station has many features including a building (if required) for pumps and equipment, inflow and discharge facilities, sumps, gravity flow structures, gate structures, headwalls, retaining walls, appurtenant structures and features such as: cranes, trash racks and rakes, heating and ventilation. A pumping station above all must be reliable. Because pumping stations are a vulnerable feature of a flood protection project, dependability as well as project pricing must be considered during the design and layout process.

Course Content

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the principles for the design and layout of pumping stations. Among the factors that must be considered and evaluated for the design and layout of a pumping station are:

a. Hydraulic and hydrologic designs.
b. Existing foundation conditions, water table, presence of rock, soils tests for corrosiveness of soil.
c. Utility requirements and availability of power and water lines.
d. Existing underground utilities; water lines, sanitary sewers, storm drains, gas mains and electric conduits.
e. Access for personnel and equipment and O & M.
f. Topography, natural boundaries like waterways and streams.
g. Property lines, Federal, state and local and political boundaries.
h. Inflow and discharge facilities and channels.
i. Planned development in the service area. The pumping station could be designed with space for additional or new pumps, motors etc.

Pumping stations may be built above or below grade, as indoor or outdoor types and with several types of inflow and discharge configurations. The size of the station is determined by the required hydraulic capacity and the required sump area and depth. The pumping station should service an area such that all points within the area can be drained by gravity. Site location may ultimately be decided on the condition of the existing foundation materials. The cost for engineering improvements for weak foundation materials may be prohibitive.

In this course, you are required to study the US Army Corps of Engineers Manual, "General Principles of Pumping Station Design and Layout", EM 1110-2-3102 (1995 Edition, 33 pages), PDF file.

The link to the Engineers Manual (in PDF format) is:

General Principles of Pumping Station Design and Layout EM 1110-2-3102

Pumping Station Terms & Definitions

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Environmental Requirements
Chapter 3 Electric Power Supply
Chapter 4 Station Design
Chapter 5 Equipment Supply
Chapter 6 Sump Design
Chapter 7 Discharge Arrangement
Chapter 8 Station Auxiliaries
Appendix A Plates

You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

The design and layout of a pumping station involves a team composed of environmentalists, several engineering disciplines, planners, economists and the owners or sponsors. This course is an overview of the important features and general criteria that must be considered and evaluated to produce an economical, efficient and dependable facility. The criteria discussed cover a wide range of pumping station features: environmental, power supply, types of pumps, pumping station floor elevations and equipment, sump sizing, discharge arrangements and access requirements.


For additional technical information related to this subject, please refer to:

Pumping Station Design (2nd Edition) by R. L. Sanks
EM 1110-2-3104, "Structural and Architectural Design of Pumping Stations.
EM 1110-2-3105, "Mechanical and Electrical Design of Pumping Stations.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.