A large, bespoke pump system designed and built by UK manufacturer, Dutypoint, is being used as part of Thames Water’s £25 million project to stop extracting water from the River Og and significantly reduce abstraction from the River Kennet.
Since the early 1990s homes and businesses in Swindon and the Kennet Valley have been supplied with water from a borehole at Axford in Wiltshire but campaigners have been concerned about the effect this has on the River Kennet, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
In 2016, Thames Water completed work on the installation of a new 18km pipe that would instead connect 300,000 properties with a water supply from Farmoor Reservoir, reducing abstraction from the Axford borehole by 50 per cent.
Dutypoint worked alongside mechanical and electrical contractor, Bridges, to design and manufacture the pump systems needed for the project. The specification was challenging because as well as stipulating a low pressure of no more than 0.9 bar, the pipeline and booster set-up had to be capable of maintaining a high flow rate of 150 litres a second.
Lloyd Preston, Divisional Manager at Dutypoint, explains: “We were able to design a three pump booster set in a duty, assist and standby configuration delivering 150 litres per second at 0.9 bar pressure.
“Yet with dimensions of 2196mm x 2000mm x 2526mm, it’s a very large system so we manufactured and assembled the booster set in-house at our production facility. This enabled us to provide in time, on time delivery to site for immediate installation.”