St Germans Pumping Station, Kings Lynn, Norfolk

St Germans Pumping Station is the second largest in Europe. It is located near Kings Lynn in Norfolk and was originally constructed in 1934. St Germans Pumping Station protects 24,000 private properties, 1,100 commercial properties and 70,000 hectares of high-grade agricultural land from flooding.

When this station was first constructed, there were only 3 pumps, and a fourth was added in the 1950s, giving the station a total capacity of 70 cubic metres per second. It was re-built in 2011 at a cost of £38 million and required additional pumps to handle an extra 100 cubic metres per second.

Aside from just re-building the pumping station itself, there were many other complex elements involved. One of these included building a Cofferdam to form an enclosed area, so that building work could commence. Once the Cofferdam was built, it needed to be emptied of water so that it was completely dry. This was to allow for the concrete of the new station to be put in place. All of the existing water needed to be pumped into the tidal River Ouse, whilst the rising tide levels needed to be held back.

Costain, the main contractor building the pumping station, asked Euroflo to help with both the level control and with managing the flow of water.
Euroflo’s task was to drain the Cofferdam, maintain a dry site, convert and pump hard materials away and monitor and respond to adverse tidal conditions.

Euroflo achieved this task using Grindex Maxi 8” pumps for both water extraction and attaining the water required to mix with other material, while Grindex Minor H drainage pumps were used for pumping out water from deep within the excavation site, where access was restricted. Euroflo also used the Dredging pump EL604 to remove the remaining dry material from the excavation site. This was achieved by mixing the dry material with water to create a slurry. With this method, the remaining material could be easily pumped out from areas where a tracked 360 excavator machine could not gain access.