A Venturi pump uses the kinetic energy in a fast-moving fluid to move another liquid or semi-liquid substance. These pumps are abundant in sewage treatment plants because they reliably move large volumes of thick, heterogeneous material without clogging or locking. Venturi pumps are also useful in quarries, refineries and other industries that generate thick liquid waste.
Standard Venturi pumps belong in liquid applications at atmospheric pressure. A modified version called a Venturi vacuum pump applies similar principles to vacuum pressure situations. These pumps require a compressed air source, but no electricity. Venturi vacuum pumps generate substantial noise. Individuals working near large Venturi vacuum pumps need ear protection. These pumps are often remotely placed to reduce noise pollution and minimize the potential for hearing loss among workers in the area. Most Venturi vacuum pumps are small, and some are portable. These durable pumps are well suited to perpetual operation and require only sporadic maintenance.
Another close relative of the Venturi pump is the jet pump, a staple of municipal water supply applications. It is particularly efficacious in well-water systems and can lift water up to 25 feet. Like other pumps in the Venturi style, jet pumps rarely break and do not need priming.