Perimeter Drainage Ltd is now offering 24/7 dependable monitoring for your residential drainage and sewer pump systems.  Our Pump Station Monitoring Systems or PSMS will have real time viewing of your control panel, pumps and floats.  PSMS is data acquisition, a computer system for gathering and analyzing real time data.  With PSMS, we can establish a bench mark for pump efficiency by tracking run time and cycle time and determining any reduction in pump capacity throughout the life of the pumps, track alarms, enter all operations and maintenance activities in REAL TIME.  This is another key piece of information used to predict when your pumps should be replaced.


The most common issues with residential and commercial pump stations is being able to monitor usage and determine if current flows match the Engineered design of the pump station.  Ground water modeling is a science and flow patterns change thru time.  These changes can be attributed to upstream excavations, subsurface changes in flow patterns due to silt or clay migration, land clearing and removal of vegetation.  Many times at Perimeter Drainage we have noticed increased flow patterns to residential pump systems, then after a home has been constructed across the street, these flows either increase or decrease.  It’s quite common.  There is nothing in place that gives you real time data to monitor these increases.  Alarms sound, and if it’s not a mechanical failure, what caused this?  Most times it’s a surge of subsurface flows or a brief surge in precipitation.  Most pump systems are designed for a 10-year rain event.  With global climate change, these events seem to be more intense and there are more times when the backup pump is required to fill in to keep up with flows.  How do you know if the pump station is doing what it is meant to do or was there a miscalculation in design?  Without lengthy flow testing you are relying on your panel to tell when there is a pump override or high level alarm.  How long was this surge?  Was the pump partially clogged?  Having the most accurate data will allow you to give your client the best information.  The last thing we want is a flood caused by not knowing the right information.

Trying to educate clients on what’s best for their home requires proper education.  Plain and simple.  We would like to be more proactive than reactive. Are your pumps overworked and under serviced?  At this point, we make our decision on maintenance by time and sometimes mileage or run hrs.  These are basic educated guesses.  We typically have annual service agreements but who knows if one house requires it more than another? One may have 5000 hours of run time and pump clean water, the other runs for 500 hours and has lots of iron oxide and thus pumps a thicker quantity of product.  I would be more concerned with the 500 hour system than the 5000 hour system.

Monitoring View



  1. Track flows into the pump station. Why is this important?  Flows are the highest priority when designing a pump system.  This dictates not only pump sizing, but retention volumes.  This also will track seasonal flow patterns and all storm events.  This data will allow to predict higher risk times during the year.  This can also track higher risk zones in the area.
  2. Tracks run times on pumps. Why is this important? Run times on pumps are a priority when designing a pump system.  Two pump operations you do not want your pumps to do, these are excessively long or short run times. A 5 second run time that short cycles your pumps will reduce the life of the pump.  Having your pump run for two to five minutes during a regular storm event means the pumps installed are probably the wrong type of pump.  Your pumps should be able to dewater the retention tank quickly, our guidelines are between 60 and 120 seconds.  This is subjective as if you are only pumping groundwater and the flows are minimal, a 120 second cycle is ok.  If you are pumping lots of flow, you want retention and pump volume.  If a rain event occurs that exceeds the station capacity design, this characteristic allows the pumps to at least have that additional storage capacity to give it time to catch up with flows.  As well, if there is a change in typical run times, during a regular maintenance check thru PSMS will flag that there may be an issue with one pump.  If there are two identical pumps and after initial installation, they both dewater the chamber in equal times, then two years later, data tells one pump is taking 30 percent longer, there may be an issue with wear.  Good information to have.
  3. Upgraded panels track Pump Amperage.  Why is this important?  Without going into fluid mechanics, amperage draw on startup may change over time due to issues with the pump or fluid its pumping.  Tracking this with an alarm on excess amperage on startup allows for a reduced chance of failure by attending the pump station and performing tests to see where the failure is.
  4. Tracks high level alarms and override alarms. Why is this important?  Back to pump station design. Are these pumps the right ones?  Was it a surge in flows due to a larger rain event that exceeds the design?  Is there a pump failure?  Good information to know before sending out a service person.
  5. Data acquisition allows for future design or changes to the system? Why is this important?  Right now, most maintenance activities are scheduled based on time and experience.  If the right information is obtained, educated decisions can be made to improve maintenance activities.  It can also help decide when replacing pumps, whether to change the size and style of pump.
  6. Tracks power outages. Why is this important?  If there isn’t a backup generator in place, or even if there is, it is good to know if there is power to the pump station so the backup plan can be implemented.  This could include starting the portable generator or putting in a temporary submersible pump with layflat hose.  This all goes back to reducing the chance of a flood.
  7. Reduces the risk of a flood and potential for a financial loss. Some insurance companies will offer a reduction in premiums if you perform regular maintenance.  They also are receptive in having the system monitored in allowing this reduction in premiums.  Since it is brand new, it could be a requirement if the residence has a history of flooding.  Maintenance and monitoring go hand in hand.

SJE Rhombus Custom Panel

PSMS can be adjusted for both float and C-Level type applications.  This can track both storm and sanitary pump station applications.  Each system type requires design and planning based on current site conditions, existing infrastructure and in storm water applications, ground geology changes the type of switching used (C-Level for clean flows, float operation for fine silt and oxide conditions).

Be proactive, not reactive.  See if we can modify your existing panel or install a new panel with PSMS.