Pumping flood waters from the Somerset Levels, South West England

Dry feet for the people of Somerset

Posted on 1 February 2014


Large parts of the Sometset Levels, a low level coastal plain, flooded early January 2014 because of excessive rain fall and several extreme high tides at sea. Some 65 square kilometres of land were under water for over a month. 

In February the Environment Agency of the UK requests assistance of Dutch pump company Van Heck to start pump out the flood waters from the King's Sedgemoor drainage canal into the Parret river, just north of the town of Bridgwater. 

For the first couple of days the pumps run at Dunball, with the aim of lowering water levels in the King’s Sedgemoor system first. After a few days the Monks Leaze Clyce was 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. 


See also the photo coverage of this project.


To be on site as soon as possible to remove the flood water and helping the people getting back to their homes.


  • Van Heck is busy with writing emergency plans for the Environment Agency in case a calamity occurs again.
  • Dunball, where the pumps were located, is now prepared for emergency pumps.

Current status
The project has been completed in March 2014.


Enormous gratitude of the people of Somerset and a lot of media attention.

Technologies used

14 mobile diesel driven pump units with a capacity of 6.500 m3/hour, 2 mobile diesel driven pump units with a capacity of 4.900 m3/hour and 4 mobile electrical pump units with a capacity of 8.250 m3/hour.

Total pump capacity: 113.800 m3/hour (world record).

Project location

Project partners

  • Van Heck