Articles & Case Studies

Sewage works go Dutch for new pumps

Posted: Thursday 30th March 2006

En route to Southern Water’s Portswood sewage treatment works from Spaans Babcock Ltd’s factory in the north of Holland are three large Archimedean Screw Pumps to replace screws originally supplied 32 years ago.

The Screw Pumps which range in size from 1.8 to 2.4 metres in diameter are more than 15 metres long and have a total weight of about 50 tonnes. They have a combined capacity of around 225 million litres per day or the equivalent of 90 Olympic sized swimming pools!

To minimise disruption in the area the screws are being transported down the river Itchin on a barge assisted by two tugs. Timing was critical as if the tide were too high the screws would not pass under some of the bridges which span the river.

The equipment is to be installed over the course of the next twelve weeks by Spaans Babcock Ltd as part of a contract they have with Morisson Utility Services under the framework they have with Southern Water.

Nigel Palmer, Principal Scientist from Southern Water, said: "Although the old pumps have withstood the test of time well, they are now starting to show signs of their age. The new ones will be even more energy efficient and help treat the wastewater before it is safely recycled into the river Itchen."

When untreated sewage first arrives at the works, it is held in a chamber five metres underground. The Archimedean pumps lift the wastewater from the chamber and bring it five metres above ground so gravity can help it feed through the treatment process before being recycled into the Itchen.

The works can treat up to 1,300 litres of wastewater per second from nearly 80,000 people from Portswood and surrounding areas of Southampton.

The screws range from 2.4 meters in diameter to 1.8 metres and all three are more than 15 metres long.

Company Information

Spaans Babcock Ltd
305 Phoenix Close
OL10 2JG

Tel - 01706 627 770
Fax - 01706 627 771

E-mail -
Web -

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