Giant storm pumps installed

Storm pump in Marine Drive
Storm pump in Marine Drive

Three giant pumps were craned into place last week as part of an ongoing £50 million plan to improve the quality of bathing water at Scarborough’s two beaches.

Yorkshire Water has invested the money across five different sites in the town as part of the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership - a multi-agency group working to improve bathing water quality at Yorkshire’s designated bathing beaches.

The pumps, which each weigh the same as an average double decker bus, were installed in Marine Drive by contractors Morgan Sindall Grontmij in an operation that took almost 12 hours.

Each pump was lowered into a huge 30 metre deep storage tank which has taken a year to excavate deep into the rocky headland.

Project manager Helen Lally said: “Each of our new pumps can pump 3,500 litres of storm water per second.

“That’s the equivalent of emptying an Olympic size swimming pool in 12 minutes. This makes them some of the biggest pumps in the region and they’re completely unique.

“The pumps sit inside our new 30 metre deep storm water storage tank and they’re a critical part of our improvement works on Marine Drive so we’re extremely pleased that they’re now in place.”

At times of heavy or prolonged rainfall the storage tank will fill with excess storm water – up to a maximum of 400,000 litres. After the storm abates the stored water is then transported through the sewers to be treated at Scarborough waste water treatment works. The new pumps are a backup for if the tank were to fill completely.

They would operate automatically to reduce the risk of the sewers backing up and flooding properties, by allowing storm water into the sea. The work on Marine Drive will finish in Spring 2014 and the road will reopen to two way traffic.