The Submersible Wastewater Pump Association

The Submersible Wastewater Pump Association

The Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) is a national trade association representing and serving the manufacturers of submersible pumps for municipal and industrial wastewater applications. Founded in 1976, the association’s primary focus is on industry guidelines, education and promotion. SWPA Handbook was introduced to the industry in 1984 in a soft cover version. It has been published in a hard cover format since 1986. Since its introduction, over 30,000 copies have been throughout the world.

Company details

1866 Sheridan Road, Suite 212 , Highland Park , Illinois 60035-2545 USA
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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Pumps & Pumping
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

The mission of the Submersible Wastewater Pump Association (SWPA) is to enhance the global wastewater environment by informing, educating and providing leadership in the design, procurement and operation of submersible wastewater pumping systems.

SWPA’s Purposes and Objectives

To promote increased use and consumption of the products of the submersible wastewater pump industry.
To perform such functions as shall promote and provide for the welfare of the industry and engage in all lawful activities appropriate for an industry trade association, including but not limited to:

  • Analyzing and discussing conditions affecting or which may affect the industry.
  • Studying improved operating methods and procedures.
  • Conducting education and research activities.
  • Formulating or assisting in the formulation of tests and test methods for industry products.
  • Representing the industry in contacts and relations with other organizations, the government, and the public.

To cooperate with other associations and groups where necessary or desirable in carrying out the purposes and objectives of the Association. To do any and all lawful acts and to perform and furnish any and all lawful services which may be deemed to be useful and desirable in order to effectuate any of the above purposes and objectives or to conduct any of the above activities.

SWPA’s members are leaders in the field. Regular Members are manufacturers of submersible wastewater pumps for municipal and industrial applications that can efficiently handle solids. These companies represent the bulk of U. S. shipments of Non-Clog and Grinder Pumps. Component Members are manufacturers of component parts and accessory products for submersible pumps and pumping systems. They supply pump manufacturers and the aftermarket with access covers, alternators, basins, cords/cables, control components, control panels, electric motors, guide rail systems, phase converters, phase monitors, seals, valves, variable frequent drives and other components and parts. Associate Members are non-manufacturers providing services related to Industry Products and/or who provide services to users of Industry Products.
  • SWPA is a focal point of the industry’s communications network. The association provides a forum for pooling of skills and know-how of member companies, and facilitates the exchange of information on problems and issues of common concern.
  • SWPA maintains a data center for the industry providing information to trade and consumer press, other business groups, users, and members.
  • SWPA serves submersible wastewater pump manufacturers. One of the association’s goals is to increase acceptance and sales of this modern, efficient and effective product.
  • SWPA represents its members with numerous groups involved in the selection, installation and use of industry products — including engineers, specifiers, users, standards officials and code authorities.
  • SWPA seeks to help its members by providing information on subjects of general industry interest — including government actions, code changes and marketing trends.
  • SWPAis and has been a leader in the growing wastewater pump industry since its inception. The association has a distinguished history and a long list of achievements including:
    • The Submersible Sewage Pumping Systems Handbook, 4th Edition (2012) is a 232-page technical volume that was developed by a task force of industry experts. This one-of-a-kind publication familiarizes and assists those responsible for designing, installing and operating lift stations using submersible solids-handling pump systems. The third edition includes additional chapters on Grinder Pumps and Pressure Sewers and Variable Speed Pumping. The SWPA Handbook was introduced to the industry in 1984 in a soft cover version. It has been published in a hard cover format since 1986. Since its introduction, over 30,000 copies have been throughout the world. The 4th Edition will be available in Spanish in the near future. For ordering information, contact SWPA Headquarters or click here for our technical resources on line Order Form
    • The Field Start-Up and Check-Out Procedures Manual for Submersible Sewage Lift Stations (1998), is a practical, 28-page text that includes presents step-by-step procedures, based on equipment available, for putting a lift station into operation.
    • SWPA’s Statistical Reporting Program provides quarterly data on non-clog and grinder pump shipments by type and size and annual data on the destinations of those shipments.
    • A unique Annual Industry Outlook Survey. Each Fall, SWPA conducts an Annual Survey of its members to gather information on expected industry performance for the coming year. Included are projections of Non-Clog and Grinder Pump shipments by types and sizes. The survey results are presented during the association’s Annual (Fall) Meeting.
    • “The Very Versatile Submersible” is a video training program that was created to inform viewers of the advantages and multiple uses of submersible wastewater pumping equipment. This eight-minute presentation was designed for use at seminars, schools and selected meetings and discusses some of the ways this versatile machine serves specifiers and users throughout the world. click here for our technical resources on line Order Form
    • The SWPA Standardized Presentation Format for Pump and Motor Characteristics. The format includes the minimum information needed by a specifier or designer to adequately evaluate using a specific submersible wastewater pump for an individual application. Information is presented in a consistent format so the designer or specifier can make an informed comparison between different brands or types of equipment. A series of standardized pump/motor definitions of the terms that the data represent in included. click here for our technical resources on line Order Form
    • An Introduction to Grinder Pumps in Pressure Sewers. click here for our Power Point presentation
    • A Technical Library of information along with a bibliography of current literature. Members as well as non-members are encouraged to submit materials for possible inclusion in the library.
  • SWPA has two general membership meetings  each year. The Fall (Annual) Meeting is held each November/December and typically includes a technical presentation by an industry expert, a federal legislative update and other educational programming.  It is combined with our Fall Training Seminar.The association’s Mid-Year Meeting is held in the Summer and includes a Plant Tour, related technical seminar and other educational programming. The association’s Marketing and Technical Committees meet at both the Fall and Summer Meetings and typically have full agendas. Other Committees are formed and meet as needed.  In addition, the association’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors meets between the membership meetings. Committees and subcommittees meet on an as-needed basis.
  • SWPA is dedicated to building the submersible wastewater pump industry. The association welcomes inquiries regarding membership benefits and services, as well as its programs and activities.
SWPA Leadership

SWPA is the industry’s leader in providing accurate, up-to-date technical information about submersible wastewater pumps and the component parts and accessories in lift stations using solids-handling pump systems.

Now in its third decade of service, SWPA has become the recognized spokesman for the submersible pump segment of wastewater industry and looks proudly upon its long legacy of service. SWPA’s dedicated members and staff have worked diligently, particularly in recent years, to position the association as the premier resource for technical information on submersible sewage lift station systems in North America. The technical information created and distributed by SWPA is developed by knowledgeable specialists from the industry’s leading manufacturers of submersible pumps and component parts and accessories. This information is based on a systems approach for municipal and industrial applications and is designed to meet the needs of those who are responsible for designing, installing and operating lift stations using solids-handling pump systems.

SWPA’s Membership Requirements

The Association’s By Laws list membership qualifications as follows:
SECTION 1. Eligibility for Regular Membership. Firms, partnerships, corporations, or other types of business enterprises which are actively engaged in either (a) the manufacture and sale of or (b) the sale on substantially a nationwide basis in the United States of America of one or more industry products as defined in Section 2 hereof are eligible for Regular Membership in the Association.

SECTION 2. Industry Products. Industry products are defined as submersible wastewater pumps that can efficiently handle solids. Industry products may also include such other products as the Association’s Board of Directors may from time to time determine are industry products.

SECTION 3. Eligibility for Associate Membership. Persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, or other types of business enterprises which are actively engaged in the manufacturing of parts or equipment distributed on a nationwide basis for the types of submersible wastewater pumps manufactured by the members hereof, and for systems utilizing such pumps, are eligible for Associate Membership in the Association.

The Submersible Wastewater Pump Story

Originally used in Europe, submersible wastewater pumps were first seen in the U. S. Market in the mid-1950s. They became popular in the early 1960s when a guide rail system was developed to lift pumps out of well pits for easy maintenance and repair.

Submersibles are now the dominant pump in the municipal lift station market. They offer these advantages:

  • low initial cost since they involve only one pit and less auxiliary equipment is required than for dry well/wet well installations;
  • low operating costs;
  • safe and quiet installations;
  • a minimum of unsightly above-ground equipment; and, above all,
  • reliable operation over a long life.

A submersible lift station includes not only the pump-motor unit, but sophisticated electrical and mechanical controls, piping and wet well with access frame and cover.

The submersible solids handling sewage pump operates under water. It is flood-proof. It is designed for single, wet-pit use. It can be removed easily for maintenance. It is efficient, quiet in operation, safe to install, and performs long and reliably.

The submersible wastewater pump is used primarily for wet-pit sewage lift stations and for industrial sump or process effluent applications. A common use for small pumps is to move effluent from tank to disposal in septic tank systems. Large and small units are used in a variety of ways in the home, farm, motel, school, marine, commercial building, industrial plant, and municipal sewage and stormwater systems.

Submersible pumps have been proven over the last half of a century, disproving those skeptics who originally asked how an electric motor-powered pump “could run under water”. Originally developed in Europe, they are now used throughout the world to pump clear water, raw water, and wastewater. Millions are in daily use.

The submersible wastewater pump came to the U.S. about 1955. It became popular in the early 1960s, when a guide-rail system was developed to lift the pump out of the pit for repair; this ended the dirty and sometimes dangerous task of sending people into the sewage or wet pit. Growth of the submersible for wastewater pumping has since been dramatic, as an increasing number of specifiers and users learned of its advantages.

There are two classes of submersibles. One is the smaller unit, used in home and light commercial applications; they normally handle up to 2-inch spherical solids and range from 1/3 to 2 horsepower. They are commonly called “sewage ejectors”.

Larger submersibles are discussed here. They handle 2-1/4 inch and larger solids, and have a minimum of 3-inch discharge. They are used in municipal and industrial applications, for pumping sewage and all types of industrial wastewater.