Major role for Dutch pumps in new relief effort flood ridden Somerset Levels
Despite the Somerset Levels again being battered by rain and two renewed severe flood warnings, Dutch pump company Van Heck has been able to deploy 20 massive pumps to four locations in flood ridden Somerset Levels, UK.
An impressive convoy of 30 trailers drove in the pumps and the necessary support equipment from the Netherlands.
The Dutch pumps play an important role in a new strategy by the Environment Agency and the Somerset County Council to be able to deflect the flood water at all times, regardless of the tide on the river Parrett.
Special constructed platform
In consultation with the Environmental Agency, eight pumps have been deployed to Dunball, just north of Bridgwater.
At this strategic location a platform is under construction to facilitate the large pumps.
When the platform is ready and the pumps are up and running within the next days, Van Heck will be able to pump out some 56.000 m3 flood water every hour.New strategy is to relief the river Parrett with extra pumping capacity via a northern route.
New pumping strategy
According to prime minister David Cameron the Somerset Levels contain 65 million cubic meter of flood water.
At this moment there is an overall pumping capacity of 3 million m3 per day. Cameron announced this at a special press conference in his office at Downing Street 10 on 11 February.
He told the press the pumping capacity will be further increased with a new pumping strategy getting in place. This strategy includes an increase discharge via the King's Sedgemoor Drain canal along the north side of the flooded area.
Environment Agency intends to bring the total number of pumps deployed to 96. At full capacity these pumps will be able to pump 7.3 million m3 of water off the Levels every day.
"Increasing the volume of floodwater passing down the Sowy will assist in reducing river levels in the Rivers Parrett and Tone. This operation will involve additional pumping on both the Sowy and the King’s Sedgemoor Drain", said John Rowlands for the Environment Agency.
On all states of the tide
For the first couple of days only the pumps at Dunball will run, with the aim of lowering water levels in the King’s Sedgemoor system first. Monks Leaze Clyce will then be opened gradually and more flow diverted down the Sowy, over pumping at Beer Wall Sluice and pumping out on all states of the tide at Dunball.
‘We will monitor the impact on the system. The monitoring will be carried out by people on the ground and through our automated electronic monitoring systems,’ added John Rowlands.
Dutch pumps operational soon
Van Heck expects to have all its 20 pumps operational on Thursday 13 February.
The whole operation will last at least a month.
It is the biggest flood recovery operation in the history of the Dutch company.
Read more on this website
● Dutch pumps assist in massive operation to remove flood waters from Somerset Levels, 9 February 2014
● Dutch delegation to talk to British government about recent flood problems, 7 February 2014
● British media 'inundates' Holland in search for latest flood protection measures, 5 February 2014
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In his press conference on 11 February prime minister David Cameron announced more rain is forecasted and he warned things may well get worse before they get better.