The principle of an air lift pump is to pump water with solids which tend to block and wear out pump wheels of wastewater pumps. In a tube (which is also called riser) is compressed air released (airbubbles like in a whirlpool) on the bottom. The density of the mix of air and water is lower as from water around therefore there is upstream flow. In this flow all the water from the bottom of the pipe is pumped to the top with a slightly suction power. Airlift pumps can be used for high flowrates on a less head. The head and the flowrate are depending on the flowrate of the compressed air, the tube diameter, the tube length. Typical application are sandy water lifting, abrasive materials. Also they are often from wwtp- producers used in order to produce a robust pump for longer lasting guarantees
The basic principle of an air lift pump is shown in the diagram below.
ClearFox® airlift-pumps have been developed specifically for sewage treatment plants.