Bedford Pumps Ltd has recently replaced pumps originally installed by W H Allen, the company that facilitated their existence, at Welches Dam Pumping Station in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
Bedford Pumps was formed in 1987 by former members of the Pump Department at NEI (WH Allen) after the company closed their pump manufacturing facility within the town. Since then BPL have re-established themselves as the UK’s leading manufacturer of pumping plant for the Land Drainage and Flood Defence industries, in addition to which gained an enviable reputation for M&E project management in this field.
The Welches Dam pumping station, situated on the Old Bedford River, south of Manea, was constructed in 1948 to provide land drainage in the notoriously flat and boggy marsh land of the Cambridgeshire fens. Sixty years on maintaining this obsolete equipment had become prohibitively expensive and the decision was made to upgrade the station with modern plant.
The project, let by the Environment Agency, was awarded to Jackson Civil Engineering Group Ltd, supported by Halcrow and using Bedford Pumps Ltd as their M&E partner. The work involved taking the station out of commission whilst all of the existing plant was removed from the station - not an easy task given that the existing pump volutes had been cast into the concrete floor. By pooling expertise the partners arrived at a pipework design which utilised the benefits of siphonic recovery and housed the siphon loop within the station, thereby benefiting this environmentally sensitive area and minimising installation and running costs.
In addition to manufacturing the four new 2.5 cumec Axial Flow pumpsets and siphon breaking valves, Bedford Pumps have supplied the discharge pipework, control panel and instrumentation, site cabling, and standby generating set.
In a statement the company said it was delighted to be able to continue the long standing relationship Allen Gwynnes had enjoyed with the Flood Defence/Land Drainage industry and it sought to emulate the reputation gained by its predecessor.
Bedford Pumps provide full design, manufacture, testing and service capability for all of its products as well as a full M&E installation of drainage stations.