Municipal Water

The Case of the Overeager Pump

THE MYSTERY The freshwater division of a municipal water works complained that one of three pumps at a lift station was running constantly, causing the hydrostatic chamber to drain empty. This, in turn, caused the other pumps to come on, and eventually put so much pressure on the system that the pipes burst. The system was only rated for 93 psi, but with the other pumps running the pressure shot up to 130 psi.