Articles & Case Studies

Folkestone Junction Pumping Station

Posted: Tuesday 8th August 2006

Leading access door and vent manufacturer Bilco sees customer care and dedication to completing a project as part of its ethos – demonstrated by its work on a major job in Kent.

Several years ago, as part of Operation Seaclean, a programme was proposed that saw Southern Water devote hundreds of millions of pounds to a scheme designed to meet the stringent EC directives for bathing water standards.

To meet these directives, a decision was made to build a new treatment works close to the centre of the seaside town and close to the existing sea-outfall under the pier. This required the building of a structure, approximately the size of a football pitch and 35 metres deep, on a brownfield site in the middle of the town.

This new Folkestone Junction Pumping Station has a single storey structure at ground level and five subterranean levels. Complex machinery and pumps are housed on each underground level. For regular routine servicing and maintenance the machinery equipment is lifted to the surface through the Bilco floor doors.

The pumping station handles an average dry weather flow of 29,000 m3 of water every day from an area of which encompasses towns including Folkestone, Densole, Hawkinge and Sandgate.

Access for plant to all underground levels of the pumping station is through a large pit cover in the centre of each level. This is where Bilco was called upon to offer expert advice. Bilco manufactures a range of pit and floor doors. Models include drainage doors, non-drainage doors, doors designed to receive flooring materials, doors for interior building applications, fire rated floor doors and a series of special application doors.

Working closely with the development’s project team, Bilco representatives exchanged ideas to provide a tailor-made solution to the unique access problems of such a deep structure. Bilco was able to provide information and a quote for five three metres by three metres double leaf aluminium units for the central shaft and three single leaf aluminium covers for the service yard to the rear of the pumping station.

Bilco installed five double leaf Type JD-AL and three Type J-AL aluminium drainage doors. Ideal for most corrosive environments, they are constructed of a quarter of an inch thick diamond pattern plate and feature anti-corrosion hardware, standard debris gaskets and a versatile anchoring system for ease of installation.

The double leaf covers were specified to withstand a live load of 3000 kgm2 and also meet health and safety guidelines. The size of the covers required spliced construction for assembly on site - something Bilco can easily provide.

Customer care is at the heart of Bilco’s work, so included in the cost were multiple site visits by its site engineer, Rob Helyer. He assisted with splicing the double leaf units, supervising and advising the sub-contractor throughout the installation process and commissioning after installation to ensure the client was totally satisfied.

Working closely with Rob over the six-week installation period was Bilco’s Technical Manager, James Fisher, who took frontline responsibility for relations between Bilco, Morrison, the installation sub-contractor and the client to ensure a smooth delivery of the project.

“This project was highly demanding but, I believe, typical of what it takes to complete successful, large scale projects,” James Fisher said. “To ensure projects succeed, we work closely with the client and other parties. We listen and act upon what our customers need – ensuring we are always well-placed to offer professional advice”.

He added “Bilco has had a close working relationship with Southern Water’s engineering department for many years. Relationships like this allow Bilco and our customers to identify key concepts that clients want and work with one another to achieve them. “Folkestone Junction Pumping Station is a major part of Southern Water’s programme to improve local bathing standards – and one that works.”

Bilco UK Ltd
Park Farm Business Centre
Fornhan St. Genevieve,
Bury St. Edmunds
IP28 6TS

Tel - 01284 701 696
Fax - 01284 702 531

Web -

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