Big step forward in pump upgrade project
The order for two new pumps for the Lake Hawkins pump station on Stead Street has been confirmed and manufacture of the pumps is expected to get underway any day.
Catchment operations manager Ramon Strong said it’s an exciting step in a huge project and a lot of work has gone into just getting it to this point.
The pumps are being manufactured by Fish Flow Innovations in the Netherlands, at a cost of nearly half a million dollars each.
The pumps are a crucial part of the drainage network which protects the airport and adjoining land from inundation and will replace the existing pumps which have been in operation for more than 70 years.
“We can no longer afford to keep repairing and maintaining the old pumps, you can’t get parts for them and technology has changed so much that there are better, more efficient options available now.”
The new pumps, which are tailor-made for the specific project, are very fish friendly. The pump design is based on a screw fixed inside a cylinder. As the cylinder turns, the screw lifts water from the drain and discharges the water over the stopbank through the outlet pipe. Water, fish and vegetation spiral through the pump unimpeded.
The two pumps operate in tandem, are 16 metres long and weigh 22.5 tonnes each. The manufacturing process is expected to take until at least December, then they will need to be shipped over before the mammoth task of installing them.
“It’s a massive project to get them here and up and running, but they will future proof drainage for a critical part of the region.”