Recently I went to a water park here in SC to examine the pumps that run the lazy river water feature as well as the pumps that operate the water slides and various other water features throughout the water park. The primary focus was on the lazy river water pumps. These particular pumps circulate water throughout the park creating that river effect for people to enjoy floating around the water park. Lazy river pumps are generally just centrifugal pumps that recirculate water in the man made channel and boost water pressure to make that churning effect of being on a river.
These pumps operate with virtually no elevation difference and the only back pressure on the pump is generated by the discharge openings in the channel. When installing these pumps always remember to install a throttling valve on the discharge side of these pumps. Never install a throttling valve on the suction side of a pump as this just creates cavitation problems and will eventually destroy the impeller and the bearings in the pump. This is a common mistake a lot of people make so don’t let this happen to you.
Installing a throttling valve on the discharge side of your lazy river water pump will allow you to control the flow to keep the pump from overworking itself. This throttling effect actually causes the pump motor to run at a lower amperage thus increasing motor life and saving energy. It also keeps the pump from having suction cavitation issues from moving too much water. A third and final advantage to installing a throttling valve on your lazy river water pump is it increases the velocity of the water exiting your piping which increases the flow through the channel thus making the lazy river more effective.
WP Law Inc