Wind Pumps

Calthorpe Broads Water Management

The Brief

In spring 2009, Broads IDB faced a water management challenge at Calthorpe Broad in the environmentally sensitive Norfolk Broads district. The site, holding multiple environmental designations, required a solution to manage water levels for agriculture, rural communities, and conservation. The existing wind pump at Brograve pumping station was insufficient for the 1.2-meter lift required from the IDB drain to the Broad. The national water level management plan prioritized Calthorpe Broad as a key site.

The Solution

Wind Pump Series Installation: Aquatic Control Engineering (ACE) supplied a 4-meter wind-powered pump to complement the existing pump at Brograve pumping station. The new pump from ACE worked in series with the smaller existing pump. The ACE pump raised water approximately 0.8 meters from the drain to a reservoir, while the smaller pump lifted water from the reservoir to the Broad. This tandem setup ensured effective water management to meet both drainage and conservation needs.

Precast Concrete Base Installation: ACE supplied the wind pump with a 3-tonne precast concrete base. The base was conventionally installed using a 30-tonne excavator. The mast with the pump arrangement was installed using a teleporter with a working platform basket. The entire installation process was completed in less than a day, showcasing efficiency and rapid deployment.

Automated Operation: The wind pump demonstrated autonomous operation, turning out of the wind when the float in the reservoir reached the set level. While specific measurements were not provided, the pump appeared to exceed its rating, showcasing reliability and effectiveness. In moderate winds (wind force 4), the wind pump could raise 1 cubic meter of water a height of 1 meter.

The Result

Effective Water Level Management: The installation of the wind pump series effectively addressed the challenge of managing water levels at Calthorpe Broad. The combination of the ACE wind pump and the existing pump ensured the required lift from the IDB drain to the Broad, accommodating both drainage and conservation objectives.

Rapid and Efficient Installation: The use of a precast concrete base and streamlined installation processes, including the utilization of heavy machinery, demonstrated the project’s rapid deployment and operational efficiency. The wind pump was operational within a day, minimizing disruption to the site.



Environmental Sensitivity

The project achieved success in a site with multiple environmental designations, showcasing ACE’s ability to implement water management solutions with minimal impact on the sensitive Norfolk Broads ecosystem.


Autonomous Operation and Performance

The wind pump’s autonomous operation, turning out of the wind when needed, and its ability to exceed its rating in moderate winds demonstrated reliability and efficiency. The project’s success contributed to the broader national water level management plan.


Collaborative Success

Aquatic Control Engineering expressed gratitude to Broads IDB for their collaboration, recognizing the shared effort in finding an effective water management solution for the Calthorpe Broads.

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