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Lesson 1:

Introduction to How Pumps Work

Objective
In this section we will answer the following questions:
How is water pumped to a water plant? From the source to the public?
What types of pumps are used at treatment plants?
How are horsepower and efficiency of a pump measured?

Read the online lecture and Chapters 14 and 22 in the text Water Distribution Operator Training Handbook, Third Edition. Appendices A and B
in this same text are good references for useful math conversions.

Lecture
Introduction
Pumps have many uses in water and wastewater plants. There are many types of pumps for a variety of uses. Some of these may be river pumps,
chemical feeder pumps, high service or pumps that pump water to the distribution system, booster pumps in stations in the system, lagoon pumps for
wash-water disposal, and lab sample pumps, just to name a few. Mainly all water pumps may be classified into two general categories; displacement
pumps and velocity pumps.
Displacement pumps use some sort of mechanical means (plungers, pistons, gears or cams) for forcing specific volumes of water through the units.
Velocity pumps add velocity to water and convert the velocity into pressure head which forces the water through pipes, valves, etc. Both types of
pumps raise the pressure on the inlet side to a higher pressure on the outlet side.
Hydraulics is the study of fluids at rest or in motion or under pressure. Water flows in a water system when it is under a force that makes it move. The
force on a unit area of water is called pressure. Pressure = Force
Area In a water system, pressure is a measure of the height to which water theoretically will rise in a standpipe open at the top. The pressure of 0.43
lb/sq.in. (or PSI) is the force per unit area at the bottom of a water column and depends directly, and only, on the height of the column. Thus, a 1 sq.
ft. column 1ft. high, with a total weight of 62.4 lbs. exerts a hydrostatic pressure of 0.43 psi, or in a 10 sq. ft. column = 4.3 psi.
The speed that water flows is called the velocity. Velocity is measured in miles per hour or feet per second. The velocity of 1mph = 1.46 fps or 1fps
= .68 mph
The quantity of water that flows through a pipe or ditch depends upon the velocity and the cross sectional area of the flow at right angles to its
direction. Q = AV. 1 cfs = 7.48 gpm or gal/cu.ft.
Q = flow, A = area, V = velocity

10# force on 1 sq. inch = 10 lbs/sq. in. or 10 psi
10 # force on sq. inch = 10lbs/1/2sq. in. or 20 psi
Water weighs 62.4 lbs./ cu. ft. or 8.34 lbs/gal
2.31 ft. = 1psi.
0.433 psi = 1 ft.
1 cfs = 7.48 gpm
Q (flow rate) = AV = 7.48 gal/cu. ft.
Velocity of water = 449 gpm = 1 cfs
Or
.646 mgd = 1 cfs
Water plants generally acquire the water from the source, such as lakes, rivers, creeks, springs, or wells. The source water is also called the raw
water. Some plants are located where the source water will flow to the plant by gravity flow, while others need to have a river (raw) pump station to
pump the water to the treatment plant. These pumps are usually smaller in horsepower than the pumps providing flow to the distribution system.
Water flows into the plant through flocculators (that mix the chemicals), then into settling basins (which allow the dirt to settle out and for chlorine to
have contact time), then into the filters and through the filters into a clear well (storage area), and finally pumped out of the clearwell and into the
distribution system by larger horsepower pumps and on to the customers. This entire system is a balancing act - to maintain equality of flow and pump
rates and filter flow rates, through the entire system of treatment. Plants are designed by engineers that calculate all of this information when the plant is
being designed, and will set up the plant to achieve this equality of water balance.
For example river pumps may be a 125 hp and possibly a 200 hp to give a variety of pumping options, while the high service or pumps that are
pumping water into the distribution system, may be a 500 or 600 horsepower pump. In between these pump varieties, filters are adjusted to keep an
even flow across the basins and into the filters, and the outgoing pumps are keeping a balance of water in the clearwell or storage area, to continually
keep up with demand in town or the distribution system and/or to gain water in the distribution storage tanks.

Small Pumping System

Note: With the way this pump is designed the valve would have to be a non-restrictive valve.

Large Pumping System
The path that water takes through a large pumping system:
Source intake raw pumps flocculators, basins, filters, clearwell small tanks large tanks with overflows booster pump stations
million gallon tanks to the public
Note: For a large pumping system to be more efficient it would need to be a straight line.
Efficiency of a pump is measured through the following equation:

Horsepower of the pump is equal to Pressure by Gallons per Minute divided by the given of 1714.
Horsepower is equal to 33,000 ft. lbs/minute
An example of this would be:
Depending on the pumping system that you are using, you may be required to determine the flow as well. If you are required to determine the flow, the
following equation would be used:
Q
NP
= flow with valve fully open
Q
RP
= valve closed to give rated pressure and then measure flow
The Virginia state regulations, as well as most other states, require that pumping facilities are designed to maintain the potability, or quality, of the
pumped water. The pump stations should be located so that the proposed site will meet the requirements to protect the water quality, hydraulics of the
system, and be protected against interruption of service by fire, flood, or any other types of hazards. There are also "design criteria" standards that
must be met and followed when treatment facilities are built.

Definitions
Q
NP
- Flow with valve full open
Q
RP
- Valve closed to give rated pressure and then measure flow
PSI - Pressure per Square Inch
GPM - Gallons Per Minute
Reservoir - Area in which water is reserved
Hydraulic Valve - Valve where water is shut
Pressure Gauge - Measurement of pressure in lines
Pump - Device to draw fluid from one area to another

Review
In this lesson we learned about the use of different types of pumps at treatment facilities. Also, a variety of different types of pumps and pump sizes are
used throughout the plant and system. Some of these are; source or raw water pumps, lagoon pumps, chemical feeder pumps, lab sample pumps,
finished water pumps (pump water from the clearwell to the distribution system. Displacement and velocity pumps are the two main categories of
pumps used at treatment facilities. Both of which will increase the velocity of the water being pumped.
Pressure, velocity and quantity of the water are discussed. Pressure is the unit of force on the water.
The speed of the water is called the velocity, and the quantity is the amount of water flowing through the pipes in the system based on the PSI. We
discuss some conversions and mathematical relationships between each of these.
We also, discuss the method that water flows from the source to the customer, and all the pumps involved with this process. An example of small
systems and large systems are discussed. A small system consists of the source, pump, pressure gauge, and manual valve at the end. A large system
consists of more tanks, pipes, and valves to be used to transfer the water from the source to the customer.
We also, start a brief discussion about the relationship between pump horsepower and pump efficiency. Horsepower is equal to the PSI (pounds per
square inch) X (times) the GPM (gallons per minute) divided by 1715. Pump horsepower and efficiency will be discussed in more detail later.

Sources
Va. State Water Regulations
AWWA - Water Distribution Manual
AWWA - Operator Study Guide

Assignments
Answer the following questions and email as an attachment to the instructor, Harriett Long at hlong@me.vccs.edu.

1. Draw and label an example of a small pumping system .
2. Draw and label an example of a large pumping system, from source to the public.
3. A flow rate of 250 gal/min is measured through a sedimentation basin with dimensions of Length = 30 ft, Width = 10 ft, Depth = 8 ft. What is
the velocity through the tank?
4. The term for the pressure against which a pump must operate is ______________.
5. Pressure is measured in ______________.
6. One pound per square inch pressure will support a column of water that is _________________.

Quiz
Answer the questions in Quiz 1 . When you have completed the quiz, print it out and either mail or fax to the instructor, Harriett Long. You may also
take the quiz online and directly submit it into the database for a grade.