Info on All the Different Types of Submersible Pumps

Have you ever wondered how maintenance and construction teams can clear the water out of golf course sand traps, or away from construction site foundations after heavy rain? They use pumps, of course; but make no mistake: they’re not using the same kinds of high-pressure pumps you’d use to drain your pool, or draw water from a well. What makes the pumps used to remove standing water from golf courses and construction sites different from their clear water cousins is that they’re trash pumps: pumps designed to work in environments where the unavoidable intake of sand, silt, sediment and other kinds of debris would destroy a lesser pump in a matter of minutes.

Trash pumps are designed to perform a cut above other pumps; but even within their heavy-duty ranks, there’s one type that’s smaller, more portable and inherently more adaptable than the others, and they’re just as valuable on a sunny day as they after heavy rain.

Submersible Standouts


Although trash pumps are the hands-down favourites for dewatering, filtering, and solid-liquid separation, the environments they need to be deployed to aren’t always ideal for rigid, close-coupled pumps. Pumps are inherently better at pushing fluids than pulling them, and this is especially true for fluids that are contaminated with sand or other kinds of heavy deposits. These are the conditions that a rugged, flex shaft drive submersible pump with a cast iron impeller will excel in. These centrifugal-type trash pumps are built to handle high solid content fluids with up to 30% suspension in oil or water, and up to 28mm pass-through capacity for heavy solids. In short, with their 36,000l/hr discharge rates under continuous operation, these are the heavy-duty pumps you want for getting straight to the source of fluid accumulation without choking or clogging.

What enables these pumps to perform so well however is their flexible shaft drives. Because their pumping heads aren’t rigidly fixed to their petrol or diesel-powered drive units, the heads themselves are designed to be:

Highly Portable

With easily connected and disconnected standard flex drive lengths of 6m and 9m lengths, and extension shafts available at 3m and 6m, these 3-tooth dog drive shafts can be extended to a maximum length of 12m while still maintaining a maximum discharge head of 26m.

Low Weight

With operating weights between 26.5kg and 42.5kg, these pumps, along with their 20m discharge hoses, can be easily deployed over the sides of deep features by lifting eyelets.

Low Maintenance

Depending on the model, you can buy submersible pumps with heads, both with standard double row bearings, 7 oil seals, and oil bath lubrication that are rated for up runtimes of up 500 hours between teardowns.

Ultimately, these self-priming units are designed to work hard at the jobs that other pumps lack either the means or the mobility to do, making them true standouts among submersibles.

Pump Types

Because these are true trash pumps at heart, their hardened steel plating and corrosion resistant internals give them a virtually limitless range of uses within any of their 3 common configurations.

General-Purpose Pumps

General-Purpose Pumps

These pumps are designed for either non-potable or debris-laden sources, and are ideal for removing fluids from locations like:

  • Excavation pits and wells;
  • Basements and construction sites; and,
  • Trenches.

Abrasion-Resistant Pumps

These pumps are designed for densely suspended, and sludge and heavy particulate slurry mixes, and are ideal for removing fluids from locations like:

  • Sandpits;
  • Ponds and lakes; and,
  • Quarries and gravel pits.

Chemical Resistant Pumps

Chemical Resistant Pumps

These pumps have chemical resistant seals for transferring hazardous, toxic or effluent fluids, and are ideal for locations like:

  • Mines and tailing ponds;
  • Industrial processing plants; and,
  • Aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Drive Units

Because submersible pumps are capable of serving so many purposes, it’s important to remember that the key to both their portability and flexibility is in their drive units.

The 4-stroke petrol and diesel drive units that power these pumps are lightweight, frame-mounted systems that spin quickly up to 3,000rpm, and deliver between 4.8hp and 9hp without the need for dangerous electrical connections or cable runs to secondary power sources. And when time is truly of the essence, their quick action, 3-tooth drive couplings are the optimal choice for getting a portable submersible pump station setup and running within minutes of arriving on location.

Suffice it to say, it’s this straightforward ability to bring a submersible trash pump online that underlines their value for such a broad array of fluid transfer jobs, including:

  • Environmental and remediation services;
  • Landscaping and curatorial services;
  • Construction and salvage activities;
  • Municipal fire, water, and sewer services; and,
  • Power and telecommunications installations.

The Final Word

Let’s be honest: most types of drainage and dewatering activities, especially outdoor ones, aren’t going to be easy, clear water tasks. There are likely to be all types and sizes of sediment and debris that are going to need to be separated, and utilizing a pump that isn’t designed specifically for that kind of environment is a no-starter.

A trash pump is what’s needed, and bringing in a shaft driven submersible pump that’s built to handle trash is a solution that can be quickly brought into service to convincingly solve the problem.

If you need a solid-liquid separation or fluid transfer solution that has to be done correctly the first time, these are the pumps you want.