Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has upgraded one of its drainage pumping stations with the introduction of a new Archimedes screw pump equipped with a new High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) flap valve. The project was designed and installed by ECS Engineering Services with initial energy consumption figures showing a reduction of over 40% compared to the original arrangement. With responsibilities to maintain almost 2,000 miles of flood defenses, main rivers and more than 4,000 sluices, outfalls, floodgates and barriers, Natural Resources Wales has a great deal of involvement in the waterways of Wales. Part of its responsibility is to maintain the drainage systems and ensure that they operate as efficiently as possible.
The project included the replacement of the cast iron flap valve mechanism, which ensures a one-way flow of the drainage water and can prevent any tidal water from the River Severn from entering the freshwater channels. The new 1,000mm HDPE flap valve will ensure the complete installation will provide a durable and efficient pumping solution for many years to come. Due to the nature of the site it was not possible to lower the water levels sufficiently to allow a conventional 'dry' installation. In this type of situation, ECS used one of its certified underwater dive teams to install the new flap valve and the sub frame for the new screw pump. This approach also meant that the local water levels remained unaffected throughout the project.
Jamie Wesley, Commercial Manager, Water Control Division at ECS, comments: "This project demonstrates just one of the many applications that can benefit from the durable design of HDPE flap valves. The reduced weight compared to the cast iron alternative means that the pump uses less energy to maintain the flow of water, increasing the overall savings created by this project." ECS can install a range of corrosion resistant, lightweight flap valves, designed to suit a range of installations with wall mounted, spigot mounted and flanged mounted options. All of the valves can be produced to suit square, round or elliptical shaped outfalls, while the option of a bespoke design ensures that every application can be accommodated. Jamie Wesley concludes; "In this project Natural Resources Wales has been impressed by the real world savings and is looking at installing more screw pumps and HDPE flap valves in similar applications."