Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Three submersible pumps from hire specialist, Sykes Pumps, have been used to carry out a complex over pumping operation in Yorkshire to enable an upgrade to a railway culvert and embankment.

Contractor, QTS Group, was employed by Network Rail to repair the existing dual barrel culvert, which enables the four track mainline between Leeds and York to cross a tributary of the River Foss at Bolton Percy, near Tadcaster. The scheme also involved construction of a new 6M extension to the existing 36M twin bore culvert to enable the embankment gradient to be modified as part of the same programme.

With two reservoirs upstream and the River Wharfe downstream, the location is prone to flash flooding, which has contributed to the degradation of the culvert and created health and safety and operational challenges for the project due to dramatic variations in water levels that can occur within a matter of hours.

Sykes Pumps provided three electric submersible pumps to site; one to act as a duty pump, the second to operate as an assistant pump at times of high water levels and the third to deliver emergency standby protection in the event of a breakdown, or exceptionally high water levels.

The pumps were supplied along with generators and pipework to enable the water to be over pumped downstream through one barrel of the culvert while repairs were carried out in the other, followed by a reverse configuration.

All three pumps were supplied with Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) panels, which use ultrasonic technology to adjust the pumps' speed in response to changes in water level up to a maximum flow rate of 600 litres/second.

Sykes Pumps provided fortnightly maintenance visits throughout the 6 month over pumping operation and committed to a maximum two hour response time for emergency call outs, though none were actually required during the project.

Comments Wes Crompton, site manager at QTS Group: "This scheme had already been delayed twice due to problems with flooding, highlighting the risks to our team if we did not have a robust over pumping solution in place.

"Sykes Pumps not only had the specialist submersible pumps we required but, thanks to the VFD technology fitted to the pumps, we could track water levels to ensure that the required flow rate was implemented at all times. Along with the company's response time commitment and regular servicing as part of the hire agreement, this provided complete peace of mind about site safety and programme delivery."

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August 2021

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