SRA Annual Report 2018-19: Pumping Stations (W1)
At permanent pumping stations, SRA funding enables extra resilience, security and efficiency. It means the Environment Agency can better protect people, homes, businesses and land. The Environment Agency’s own funding is restricted because of the limited number of properties at flood risk in the areas serviced by these pumping stations. But SRA funding reflects local priorities.
At West Sedgemoor Pumping Station, a plan has been drawn up to install a new trash screen that could be cleared automatically. This move would have three main benefits. First, it would protect pump equipment, by stopping material being pulled into the pumping mechanism. Second, preventing blockages would reduce local flood risks by stopping water backing up. Third, the Environment Agency would be saved the time, cost and trouble of manually removing weed and debris from the station’s existing trash screen. The SRA has paid for the costs of re-designing access arrangements to the site, and the tendering and implementation of those changes. Further stages now depend on Environment Agency funding. The project is currently expected to advance in 2020- 21 or possibly beyond.
Long Load and Saltmoor
Roof repairs at Long Load Pumping Station have been completed, along with inlet channel works, partly using SRA funding originally allocated to roof repairs at Saltmoor Pumping Station. The move was made from Saltmoor because the Environment Agency found other funding and other means of doing what was required.
At Westonzoyland, it was hoped to fully electrify and automate the pumping station, and to replace its single diesel pump, which is powered by a 1990s’ lorry engine. Automation would save the Environment Agency the time, cost and trouble of sending someone out to Westonzoyland to get the pump going and then later going back to turn it off again. SRA funding paid for an options appraisal, outline design and costings to fully automate the site. Sadly, costings indicated full automation would cost over £1million. This is not considered viable.
The Environment Agency has instead decided to develop what is called an emergency ‘plug and play’ pumping option. This could enable the mobilisation of large electrical pumps – with a total pumping capacity of up to 2m3 per second – for operation under various flood scenarios. The Environment Agency intends to bid for more SRA funding so this can happen.