Centrifugal Pumps

Keadby Terminal Assisted Outfall

The Brief

Keadby Pumping Station, situated in the low-lying Isle of Axholme, covering South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, required a comprehensive upgrade. The existing pumps, nearly 80 years old, were inefficient, unreliable, and costly to maintain. The Environment Agency sought a solution to replace these aging pumps, opting for fish-friendly, self-priming systems to enhance efficiency and environmental sustainability.

The Solution

Removing Vacuum Pump and Changing Pump Orientation: ACE took on the challenge of removing the vacuum pump and redesigning the pump orientation from a “cats back” system to a self-priming system. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling was employed to design a special composite Formed Suction Intake (FSI) to be assembled beneath the existing building. This FSI ensured optimal flow presentation for the new fish-friendly pumps.

Transitioning to Electric Motors: To address the shift from diesel to electric motors, ACE utilized innovative permanent magnet motor technology. The IE4 permanent magnet motors, significantly lighter than traditional induction motors, not only met the weight limitations of the existing lifting plant but also enhanced overall pump efficiency. The motors were complemented by variable-speed drives, contributing to carbon savings and operational flexibility.

Fish-Friendly Pump Design: The fish-friendly pump design incorporated patented impellers and elongated guide vanes, ensuring fish passage without harm. Rigorous testing, including live eel trials, demonstrated over 97% of fish and 100% of eels passing through the system unharmed. This design achieved market-leading fish friendliness without compromising flood prevention or increasing costs.

The Result

Enhanced Efficiency and Carbon Savings: The six fish-friendly pumps, each capable of pumping over four thousand litres of water per second, were successfully installed. The innovative permanent magnet motors, coupled with variable-speed drives, delivered vastly improved efficiency and carbon savings compared to both the existing pumps and alternative fish-friendly options.

Proven Fish-Friendly Design: The fish-friendly pump design was proven through extensive testing and monitoring. The patented impeller and elongated guide vanes ensured the safe passage of fish, contributing to environmental sustainability while fulfilling flood prevention objectives.



Protecting Extensive Area and Infrastructure

The project safeguarded an area covering approximately 500 km2 across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, including over 28,000 houses and 30,000 hectares of high-grade agricultural land. The upgraded pumping station contributed to the resilience of critical infrastructure within the region.


Cutting-Edge Technology Implementation

ACE’s successful integration of cutting-edge technology, including permanent magnet motors and fish-friendly design, showcased its capability to deliver innovative, environmentally conscious solutions. The achievement marked a significant advancement in the field of water infrastructure.


Efficient and Fish-Friendly Pumping System

By delivering a pumping system that combined efficiency with fish-friendliness, ACE achieved a balance between flood prevention, operational effectiveness, and environmental sustainability. The project set a benchmark for future water infrastructure upgrades, emphasizing the importance of innovative and holistic design.

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