- Fishway for Pumping Stations


In the Netherlands alone more than 3000 pumping stations contribute to the watermanagement. For fish, pumping stations present migration barriers that obstruct the natural connections between adjacent water bodies. The FishFlow fishway for pumping stations consists of a by-pass system that guides fish around the potentially lethal pumps.

The noise of the pumps in the station makes fishes wary of passage, however when no alternative streams are present the fish will ultimately try to pass through the pumps. The passage through conventional pumping stations is dangerous for fish since the propeller- and centrifugal pumps that are often used for drainage rotate at high speed. Consequentially, the risk that fish passage through these pumps results in severe or lethal damage is high.

The FishFlow fishway for pumping stations utilises the natural wariness of fishes to guide them. Fishes that approach the pumping station from the polder are discouraged from swimming into the inlet pipe of the station by strong stroboscopic lights from which fishes have an aversion. Dark and quiet inlet channels that are connected to a Venturi pump are provided as alternative routes. The Venturi pump constitutes the core of the FishFlow fishway and is placed at a pumping station in addition to conventional pumps. It creates a water flow that is forced through a narrow aperture into a discharge pipe where a vacuum develops as a result. The vacuum induces a water flow in the two side-channels that are connected to the discharge pipe directly behind the narrow aperture. The water flow attracts fishes from the polder and moves them past the lethal pumps to the downstream waters. The presence of the bypasses thus provides an obstacle-free connection between upstream and downstream waters.

The FishFlow fishway for pumping stations is a unique fish facility for the passage of pumping stations. Important characteristics are:

  • 100% fish friendliness
  • applicable in every pumping station, existent or new
  • the pumping capacity of existent pumping stations is enlarged
  • the facility can be fully integrated in the design of new pumping stations
  • the facility can serve educational functions

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