Rapid response prevents critical pumping station from running dry

Rapid response prevents critical pumping station from running dry

When flood damage at a pumping station threatened to cut the water supply to 25,000 homes, a rapid response helped Essex & Suffolk Water keep the water flowing.

Thirty minutes before the water supply to 25,000 homes ran dry, an ABB authorised value provider commissioned a new variable speed drive, avoiding 67,000 people from being deprived of water.

Essex & Suffolk Water’s pumping station is an unmanned site in Herongate. A split water pipe flooded the pumping station and crippled the electrical equipment. This included the existing VSD and two of the three motors used to control the station’s treated water transfer pumps.

The pumping station provides water to homes in Herongate, Warley and Brentwood and is a crucial strategic site in Essex & Suffolk Water’s supply network. The VSD is installed on the lead pump, which is in almost constant operation, transfering up to 12 million litres of potable water each day from a sealed underground reservoir.

“The pump was sitting on 70 feet of head when the pipework split,” explains Robert Wilson, maintenance team manager – electrical for Essex & Suffolk Water. “Basically when the water hit the electrics, we lost the entire pumping station. We were able to maintain supply in the short term by using water from four onsite storage reservoirs. However, hourly trend analysis revealed that the water would run out by evening, stranding our customer base.“

Wilson contacted ABB authorised value provider, Gibbons Engineering Group, which maintains the site’s drives as part of a service agreement. Gibbons installed and commissioned an ABB 110 kW VSD on the site’s only working motor. Thirty minutes before water reserves would have run out completely, the Herongate site started pumping again.

Image caption: A rapid response by ABB authorised value provider Gibbons Engineering helped to maintain the water supply to 25,000 homes

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. www.abb.com


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