Centrifugal Pumps

Appledore Pumping Station Upgrade

The Brief

The Appledore Pumping Station, a vital Environment Agency asset on Romney Marsh, Kent, operated with outdated axial flow pumps, far beyond their design life. The pumps were inoperable, and the EA faced stringent criteria for their replacement. The new pumps needed to be fish-friendly, employ efficient pumping technology, pass 500 Liters per second per pump, and maintain current winter drain levels. The shallow intake design posed challenges, as the traditional axial pumps required vacuum pumps for priming, complicating the impeller position. The options involved flooding, major civil works, or undesirable alterations to the 1948 pump design.

The Solution

Innovative Submersible Pump Design: ACE, invited to assess the situation, identified an innovative solution. Collaborating with partners Pentair Fairbanks Nijhuis, ACE used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling to validate the option. The solution involved a fish-friendly submersible pump that met the EA’s criteria without altering the pumping station forebay. This design resolved the challenge of impeller submergence and eliminated the need for vacuum pumps.

Robust Flood Defence System: ACE addressed the EA’s requirement for two lines of flood defence. HDPE pumped flap valves, known for their robustness and low head loss, were installed. These valves reduced power requirements and had a lower carbon footprint compared to cast iron alternatives. For the second line of defence, ACE proposed the WaStop, an in-line check valve installed behind the flap valve on the outfall. This provided two passive lines of flood defence with minimal maintenance requirements.

Surprise Visitor and Team Spirit: During project delivery, the ACE team had a surprise visitor in the form of a ferret. This unexpected encounter added a delightful touch to the project, with the site team caring for the visitor until the RSPCA could collect it.

The Result

Efficient and Fish-Friendly Pumping System: The installation of the innovative submersible pump addressed the EA’s stringent criteria, providing an efficient and fish-friendly solution. The new system passed the required flow rates and maintained winter drain levels without the need for major alterations to the pumping station.

Robust and Low-Maintenance Flood Defence: The HDPE pumped flap valves and WaStop combination offered a robust, low-head-loss flood defence system. The HDPE flap valves, with their buoyant and resilient design, minimized power requirements and reduced the carbon footprint. The WaStop, installed behind the flap valve, added an extra layer of protection with virtually no maintenance needs.



Engineering Innovation

ACE’s innovative approach, validated through CFD modelling and collaboration with Pentair Fairbanks Nijhuis, showcased engineering excellence. The fish-friendly submersible pump design demonstrated adaptability to challenging conditions, meeting stringent EA criteria.


Sustainable Flood Defence

The implementation of HDPE pumped flap valves and WaStop contributed to a sustainable flood defence system. The robust, low-maintenance valves reduced environmental impact, providing reliable protection against flooding.


Team Collaboration and Flexibility

ACE acknowledged the collaboration with the EA’s Southeast MEICA team, highlighting their substantial input and guidance. The unexpected visitor, the ferret, added a touch of camaraderie, reflecting the team’s flexibility and positive spirit during project delivery.

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