A Dutch first in the polder - Water Board Zuiderzeeland measures flow rates to achieve sustainability


Courtesy of Eijkelkamp Soil & Water

The Dutch province of Flevoland lies metres below sea-level. That’s why rain and seepage need to be removed from the polder, some 6 metres up. And that’s the reason Flevoland is drained continuously by seven huge pumping stations. The quantity of energy involved in this is as great as the energy consumption of 4,000 households. Water Board Zuiderzeeland has launched the ‘Energy & pumping’ project to make the polder drainage sustainable. Eijkelkamp Soil & Water has fitted one of the pumping stations, Colijn with flow-rate measuring equipment to this end. It’s a first!

Albert Koffeman, Engineer/Pumping Station Manager at Water Board Zuiderzeeland, explains: “Ultimately, it comes down to CO2 reduction. Of all the energy we use as a water board, 65% goes towards Flevoland’s drainage. If we could save on this, or if we could use renewable energy for it, that would have a positive effect on the Water Board’s CO2 emissions. In doing so, we would contribute to a more future-proof Flevoland.”

Calculating vs. Measuring
“In fact, we have turned the Colijn pumping station into a test bed. We are constantly considering how to improve our processes, with sustainability as the objective. To monitor the pumping process properly, we approached Eijkelkamp Soil & Water. We did some engineering with Eijkelkamp, and we developed a measuring system based on the transit time method and equipment from NIVUS. This measuring system lets us monitor the flow rate of one of the three pumps installed in the pumping station. It’s an enormous flow rate: 450 cubic metres per minute. We use 8 NIVUS sensors mounted in the delivery tunnel to perform these measurements.

“Our measuring system is already operational and the results are truly spectacular. We have a view of the displacement of this pump per minute, per hour and per day, down to one decimal place. This data will soon be added to our database and will be used to prepare graphs and reports, and for testing purposes.”

“I think we have achieved a Dutch first together. That’s because I don’t believe any other flow-rate meter system has been installed in the tunnel of such a large pump which is pumping between 460 and 480 cubic metres a minute. And we can now measure this with enormous precision.”

Here you can find out more about this project.

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