I live next to a sewer lift station. The lift station generates noise through out my home. It seems to be worse late night to early morning and when it's colder out. From time to time I also feel slight vibrations.

I cannot take the noise. It can be so loud at times it hurts my ears.

How can I pinpoint how the noise and vibrations get into my house?

Are there any suggested steps to reduce the noise or to try to eliminate it?

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You are entitled to the, “quiet enjoyment of your property” and your local municipalities are not exempt.

Pump stations are basically very deep wells. When they fill up from surrounding gravity drainage systems, a LARGE pump kicks on and pumps everything to another location. As you can imagine, the pump needs to be serviced and maintained at regular intervals. Cities often skip maintenance procedures because, 1) lack of funds, or 2) lack of understanding.

1) Cities have tight budgets and will often reduce maintenance on many items, including equipment, roofing, etc.

2) The required maintenance is not random. There is a VERY SPECIFIC list of items to perform AND in a specific order. I doubt the work is being done or being done correctly.

At the time of installation there was a “Maintenance Manual” prepared by the pump manufacturer and the design engineer. I doubt they can find it or that they’re following it.

There’s little you can do to your house to solve this type of problem, but the city can give the pump an overhaul or replace it and 90% of your problems will go away. I’d contact them and see if they can help. If not, you may need an attorney.


Bring your issue to the owner of the lift station.

I did a google on lift stations. Not all of them are noisy, it would seem.

The best place to reduce noise is at the source - for example, a noisy washing machine can be muffled by putting sound-dampening foam rubber feet under it. If something is vibrating so hard you feel it, that is not good for the machine either!

I would make recordings of the loud noise on a couple of occasions. Then contact the city or whomever is in charge of the pumping station. Tell them that it was not always so loud but has suddenly gotten louder, and you wonder if something that was reducing noise before has worn out or possibly broken. You would hate for it to break completely! Offer to play the sounds for them. Tell them you would appreciate it if you could look into the noise issue and get it back to the way it was.

That may not be entirely true, but it comes off as more reasonable than a shrill complaint and opens the possibility that there is a malfunction, which will make them more interested.

If the people in charge of the sewer lift are not interested in helping you, you probably have a councilman or other city political representative in charge of your district. Go to your councilman's office with your concern. Helping the citizenry (you) is what these people are elected to do.


After following the source route, look at ways to reduce sound transmission and amplification at your house. The noise probably consists of ground tremors and air pressure pulses. The ground vibrations move your foundation, then up to the walls and floor/ceilings. Pick up a sound-level meter and put it on a tripod. While the noise is occurring, check various walls and ceilings to look for any louder and quieter areas. Then you will know where to apply sound reduction techniques.
Point the sound meter through open and closed windows.Then point it inward to compare readings. With some remodeling the quietest areas could become your safe haven.


The lift station generates noise through out my home. It seems to be worse late night to early morning and when it's colder out. From time to time I also feel slight vibrations.

It sounds like these are low frequency sound. They're much more powerful as a result. Think of a subwoofer speaker. They produce low bass noises and they don't need a direct line of sight to reach you with hard hitting sound. This works the same way.

I would suggest

  1. A wall. It won't stop the noise, but a solid wall would absorb some of the noise
  2. Approach the owners of the station and explain your dilemma. If you erect a wall, they might be willing to install some sort of sound barriers on their side
  3. Add some acoustic foam barriers to the corners of your rooms. Not terribly cheap, but they're designed to catch and defeat low bass frequencies

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