Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Tuesday 22nd May 2018

A flood defence improvement project for the City of York has won Project of the Year at the Pump Industry Awards 2018.

The project, which was managed by Xylem Water Solutions UK on behalf of the Environment Agency, was recognised for achieving significant improvements in performance and efficiency at the Foss Barrier Pumping Station in York.

Mike Hutchinson, Systems Engineer Manager at Xylem UK, says: "The project was part of the Environment Agency's £17m upgrade of flood defences across the rivers Foss and Ouse, following the devastating effects of the 2015 floods - arguably the worst floods experienced by York's residents in a generation.

"We were very proud to be a part of it, and it's great that our work has been recognised by other professionals in the industry."

Xylem was brought in to upgrade the station's 30-year-old axial pumps in order to increase station capacity, without extending the existing infrastructure.

The company installed eight PL7125 500kW axial flow pumps, which directly replaced the station's existing pumps. The new pumps were accompanied by low harmonic variable speed drives, which are currently housed in a temporary installation, and are due to be integrated fully this year.

Mike says: "The PL7125 axial flow pumps have the same footprint than that of the original pumps, but have increased power capabilities. This means that we have been able to increase the station's pumping capacity by more than 50 per cent, which ultimately results in increased flood prevention for the area.

"What's more, the variable speed drives manage power output depending on the station's requirements, making the Foss Barrier pumping station considerably more energy efficient, and therefore more cost effective to run."

Commenting on the project, Keith Solts, national Technical Manager, Flood & Coastal Risk Management, said: "The work done thus far has given us a feel for the capabilities of the upgraded station.

"It's been a wonderful achievement, particularly given the constraints of the site and its footprint. As a result, we have a significant additional pumping capability, improved energy efficiency and we are able to better respond to major incidents in the area as they occur."

The award for Project of Year was presented to Xylem at the Pump Industry Award's annual gala dinner, which took place at the Crowne Plaza in Chipping Norton on Thursday 22nd March.

Hosted by journalist and presenter Andrea Byrne, the ceremony recognised the best and brightest of the UK's pumping industry, while also raising more than £6,000 for charity WaterAid.

Speaking after the event, Andrea said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and playing a small part in acknowledging the great work being done right across the pump industry. Congratulations again to all of the winners and finalists."

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