Bedford: Pumping Station reduces the risk of flooding

Bedford Pumps Ltd has completed its largest project to date with the refurbishment of the pumps and MCC at Altmouth Pumping Station, situated at the mouth of the River Alt in Merseyside. The Altmouth Pumping Station reduces the risk of flooding to more than 9000 properties and provides protection to approximately 20 square miles of grade A agricultural land.

The low-lying surrounding area of Formby, just South of Southport has a history of flooding since the land was reclaimed from the sea by local monks in the 13th century. Following extensive flooding in the mid 1950’s the Altmouth Pumping Station was constructed in 1972 to drain the land for agricultural purposes and at that time was the largest station of its type in Europe. Due to its age and the condition of the pumping equipment the decision was made to invest £10.7m refurbishing the site.

The pumping station used both storm and dry weather flow pumps which had come to the end of their design life and were becoming increasing expensive to maintain. The Environment Agency put its MEICA (Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation) team forward to work with the key suppliers in finalising the design for Altmouth. The four original storm pumps were each driven by 1800 hp diesel engines and pumped a nominal 19.8 m³/s of water per pump. The storm pumps were operated only in high flow conditions.

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