'Pumping' Good News
19 January 2010
A major milestone has been achieved at the St Germans Pumping Station nr. King's Lynn in Norfolk when water was introduced into the cofferdam for the first time.
Costain Project Manager Ritchie Burcombe and his team are delighted to have achieved this landmark after three years working on this complex contract. It was in April 2008 that the cofferdam was pumped dry to allow works to commence and in the succeeding 9 months, some 450 CFA piles and 12,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete were constructed by Costain, before starting work on the structural steel framework for the Pump Hall itself. The building was handed over at the end of May 2009 to allow the pumps and M&E equipment to be installed whilst Costain completed the rest of the building and prepared the works for the controlled flooding of the cofferdam.
Over the next six weeks the remaining works within the cofferdam will be completed and the water levels increased to allow the pumps to be commissioned at the end of February. Once the pumps are commissioned, the diversion channel will be closed and the cofferdam removed. Demolition of the existing pumping station and earthworks to the channels will complete the works.
The contract, being carried out for the Middle Level Commissioners, is to replace the existing pumping station that serves to drain a large part of the Fens. It was constructed in the 1930's and the age of the existing pumping station, together with greater water run-off within the catchment area and rising sea levels, led to the decision to replace the existing pumping station. The new pumping station is situated within the tidal section of the Great Ouse and the cofferdam, that is now being flooded, is one of the largest in current use in this country.