How To Choose The Correct Submersible Pump

The size, shape, and capabilities of a submersible pump can vary greatly from application to application. In this article I will discuss the differences between our many different styles of submersible pumps and help you decide which pump to choose for your application.

Although we have quite a large selection, our submersible pumps can be broken down into four main categories: High Head Effluent, Sump/Effluent, Sewage Ejector, and Sewage Grinder.

High Head Effluent pumps are primarily used behind an aerobic system and pump to either a spray irrigation system or drip irrigation system. The Sump/Effluent submersible pumps are designed to pump relatively clean water usually behind an aerobic system or septic tank. The Sewage Ejector and Sewage Grinder pumps are both used to pump raw sewage. I will explain each one of these categories in much more detail below.


To make a decision on which type of pump will work best for any certain application there are four questions you will need to know the answer to:

What is the application? (What is pump’s job? What kind of materials will the pump be asked to relocate? Raw Sewage or Clear Water)

What kind of head pressure will the pump be pushing against? (The numbers you need to know is how high vertically the pump need to push the water and the length of the horizontal run.)

What kind of flow rates will the pump need to handle? (Roughly how many GPM do you expect to run through the pump at MAX capacity)?

If you can answer these three questions, then choosing a submersible pump will be a piece of cake!


Head Pressure is simply the force that the pump must overcome to be able to push the water to its destination. This number is figured by calculating the vertical lift (static head) along with pipe friction loss using the size of pipe, length of run, and flow rate of the pump. These two figures put together are what we call Total Dynamic Head (TDH). If you do not know the TDH for your application, our technicians will be able to calculate it for you simply knowing the vertical lift and the run distance.

The pumps are listed on our website as having a shut off at a certain feet of head, the Total Dynamic Head that your pump must overcome has be lower than that shut off number in order for the pump to work correctly. Generally if the numbers are relatively close, going to the next size larger unit is highly recommended.


High Head Effluent submersible pumps, also known as turbine pumps or deep water well pumps, are high pressure submersible pumps. They are primarily used in the septic system industry for spray irrigation or drip irrigation systems. These pumps are only designed to handle clear water or treated wastewater, so they are normally only installed behind an Aerobic Treatment System.

The High Head Effluent pumps that are used across the Aerobic Septic System industry are all fairly standard. Most you will see will be rated from 10 to 20 Gallons per minute and dimensionally will be very similar. At Septic Solutions we offer two different pumps in this category.

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