WATER NETWORK IMPROVEMENTS
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Stratford St Mary Pumping Station Refurbishment

Refurbishment of existing pumping station to include replacement of ageing raw water pumps, HV switchgear and other infrastructure plus new river intake screen to comply with The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009.

Project updates

Update by Kevin Packard

Hi.

Work on site has managed to progress rapidly despite the current Covid-19 pandemic. Our partners IWS have implemented many changes to site working practices in order to work safely and have coped well with both the physical restrictions imposed and indeed with the difficulties of finding good and safe local accommodation to enable a full working week.

We are now running the site completely on our new high voltage (HV) system components having finally dispensed with our old supply feed during a pre-arranged power outage with UK Power Networks on 18th May. This now allows us to remove all the old power equipment located in the pumping station basement which was never the best location in a building next to a river that is known to flood!

Not that there is very much water to extract at the moment (with May looking likely to be the driest ever on record), but we are currently running on the first 2 of our newly installed pumps. The remainder of the station has been drained down and by the end of this week, the last 2 of the five old pumps will have been removed. These were the "new ones", having only been there since 1952 so they haven't done too bad! Once all the old cabling and ancilliary equipment has been removed, we will be shortly commencing the second 2 brand new pumps and working towards getting these commissioned and put into service.

Additionally, we will be making preparations for the new bandscreen at the actual river intake. The old screens have to be replaced not just due to their age & condition but to conform to The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009, something we are legally bound to comply with. The screens are similar in operation to the existing rotating ones but have a finer mesh to prevent accidental extraction of eels and elvers which are now a protected species.

As usual, if you have any queries or questions, please contact me via this portal.

Enjoy the warm weather and stay safe.

Kevin

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Update by Kevin Packard

Hi.

Covid-19 Update:

Following the latest government advice, our projects are currently under review to ensure that only essential works are carried out. The Government has confirmed that utility workers, including the water industry, are classed as Critical Workers in the UK's Corona Virus response. This means that certain people who work for Northumbrian Water/Essex & Suffolk Water or their contractors, suppliers, partners or agencies are eligible to take on this status where they are engaged in our service provision.

The upgrade work at Stratford St Mary is needed to maintain the supply of drinking water to the public. The pumping station is our main raw water supply to Abberton reservoir and although the reservoir has good levels of water at present, the levels will fall with the usual increased water demand over the summer months. As river water levels fall below our minimum abstraction level, we cannot abstract and refill the reservoir during this time so is vital that the pumping station is fully available to pump water once again when we reach the Autumn refill period. Our principal contractor Integrated Water Services (IWS) will therefore continue to visit site to progress the work. They will be operating within the Government guidelines in respect of travel, social distancing and working arrangements and will be adopting many segregation measures during their work.

Progress with the upgrade has been good and we have now installed our new High Voltage (HV) equipment comprising switchgear, cabling and new transformers. Two of the four new pumps are installed and have been preliminary tested but their full commissioning is planned on 7th & 8th April which will give us good resilience going forward. The next phases of work will be to remove and replace the 2 remaining old pumps and also to install the new river intake screen to comply with the new Eels Regulations. The planned completion of work is September this year but obviously with the Coronavirus situation our plans may need to be modified as necessary.

Please be assured that the safety of our colleagues and the general public is paramount in everything we do. I will update this portal regularly with any more information as I have it. As always, should you require any further information or have any queries, please feel free to contact me via this portal.

Best Wishes, Kevin

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Update by Kevin Packard

It's been a little while since I last updated you on this project but I'm pleased to report that a good deal of progress has been made!

Much of the redundant equipment has now been removed, new high-voltage (HV) cabling has been installed and the new HV switchgear is now in place within the station. As reported last time, removal of the old pump plinths proved to be quite a difficult task due to the amount of concrete used in the original construction but finally the first two of the old 1930's pumps have been removed! After preparing the new mounting bases, the first two new raw water pumps have now been lowered into position. In the coming weeks, the new system will be gradually energised and the pumps commissioned to give their required output volume.

Throughout the work, the station has been kept operational with the remaining old pumps pumping raw water from the river up to Abberton Reservoir. Following a period of trial, the new pumps will take over duty to provide the water and the "other half" of the pumping station will be turned off. At this stage, work will commence to remove the remaining old units and preparations will start to install the final two new pumps.

There are several other associated enhancements to be done within the pumping station and I will add further updates as the work progresses. As always, should you require any further information, please feel free to contact the team via this portal.

Regards, Kevin

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Update by Kevin Packard

I'm pleased to say that we have now commenced work on site and the project has properly started after several year of planning!

Our trusted colleagues Integrated Water Services have established their site compound and site cabins and have also erected some Heras fencing around the site which will remain locked closed when they are not on site in order to provide a safe environment for passers-by whether on foot or indeed on the river.

The first phase of the work is the removal of redundant equipment and electrical panels which will be replaced in due course with their modern equivalents. This includes removal of some very tough high quality concrete equipment plinths. They certainly knew how to build things well back in the 1930's but their removal is now complete! The next stage of the work after the Easter break is to prepare internal access arrangements to allow phased removal of electrical transformers, motors and the first two of the old pumps. The station will remain operational throughout the work pumping river water to our storage facility at Abberton reservoir hence it is vital to enable our contractors and staff to have safe access within our high voltage areas to carry out the work.

I will add further updates as the work progresses but should you require any further information, please feel free to contact the team via this portal.

Regards, Kevin

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Update by Kevin Packard

Hi and thanks for visiting our community portal for the Stratford St Mary Pumping Station refurbishment project. My name is Kevin Packard and I’m the Essex & Suffolk Water Project Manager . I’ll be providing updates on behalf of our project team throughout the life of the scheme so please remember to check back regularly to follow our progress.

We’re planning to start works in early April, commencing with our contractor Integrated Water Services (IWS) establishing their site office, stores and compound layout. This will enable us to create a safe working site and to provide access to site safely for vehicles and pedestrians.The following 6 weeks or so will involve the removal of some redundant equipment before moving on to re-siting the high voltage electrical substation from basement to an upper level. We will then be sequentially replacing the main raw water pumps and associated equipment. 

There will be delivery and collection visits by lorries as needed throughout the project as equipment is removed or delivered and should any larger vehicles be required at times (eg. a crane), information will be posted on the ‘Traffic Information’ tab. Please visit again later for more details.

To find out more please check out the various pages on this project site. If you have any queries, have a look at our FAQs or contact us via the comments.

I will be updating this site regularly as the project progresses.

Best Wishes, Kevin

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