Guest Column | July 7, 2016

Math Solutions: Pumping Calculations

Wastewater Dan Theobald

By Daniel Theobald, "Wastewater Dan"

Math Solutions: Pumping Calculations

Like Hans and Franz from the classic Saturday Night Live skit, we’re ready to “Pump you up!” with training and exercises to conquer operator certification exams. Your trainer, wastewater consultant Dan Theobald (“Wastewater Dan”), presents his latest round of Math Solutions.

Many operators are held back from advancing their operating license because they struggle with the mathematics portion of wastewater operator certification examinations. This tool  for operators — or educators, engineers, regulators, etc. — offers mathematical templates for performing accurate wastewater calculations in easy-to-follow video tutorials, while also providing definitions, explanations, and alternative applications for the calculations beyond the specific examples presented. What follows are solutions for calculating pumping volumes; they may be applied or adapted to suit your specific plant needs. Actual pumping calculations may have different requirements such as expressing the results as square feet, cubic feet, increment of millions, or even incorporating a time element in calculation solutions.

Pumping Volumes Per Stroke Calculations

Cubic feet pumped per stroke:

Gallons pumped per stroke:

Pumping Solids (Dry Solids And Volatile Solids) Calculations

Pounds of dry solids pumped:

Pounds of volatile solids pumped:

Playlist Calculations

Playlist of 25+ Process Control (including Pumping) Calculations

Playlist of 35+ Pounds-Wastewater Math Calculations

Playlist of all my 130+ Math Solutions

This is the ‘Pumping Calculations’ presentation in my series of “Math Solutions.” If you have specific wastewater math queries, please submit a question.  

About Dan Theobald:

Known in the industry as “Wastewater Dan,” Daniel L. Theobald, proprietor of Environmental Services (, is a professional wastewater and safety consultant/trainer. He has more than 24 years of hands-on industry experience operating many variants of wastewater treatment processing units and is eager to share with others his knowledge about water conservation.

Theobald serves as an active consultant for industries looking to achieve and maintain improved wastewater treatment at reduced cost. He is a Lifetime Member of the Who’s Who Registry of Professionals and holds numerous certifications from wastewater management regulatory boards and professional organizations. Theobald contributed one chapter to the Water Environment Federation’s ( Manual of Practice # 37 (MOP-37), a technical manual resource guide for biological nutrient removal, published in 2013.