ECS ensures continued operation at the Environment Agency’s West Stockwith HV pumping station

The pumping station at West Stockwith in South Yorkshire provides a lifeline for the farmers and residents along the River Idle, pumping excess water into the River Trent. The station contains four impressive pumps each requiring 3,300 volts to drain the local watercourse. In times of need the reliability of the site is a key concern for the Environment Agency and this service has been entrusted to ECS Engineering Services, the Environment Agency’s appointed MEICA framework contractor.

In autumn 2018, ECS was again contacted by the Environment Agency to conduct a thorough assessment of the electrical and pumping equipment at the station. As a leading provider of electro-mechanical solutions for water control applications, ECS engineers were well-placed to conduct this condition report on the equipment.

Each pump starter was subject to a visual inspection, assessing the condition of wiring looms, connections, relays and contactors. ECS engineers proved security measures and checked for signs of excessive heat. Indication equipment was examined, with operational testing carried out to prove isolation and lock off mechanisms. Insulation tests were carried out on the contactors, and the overload settings were checked and adjusted where necessary to give the operational side of the station a clean bill of health.

The high voltage pump motors received a similarly thorough examination with the checking of brush gear and slip rings. Following the documented inspection ECS recommended brush replacement in the near future to OEM specification. The motor assemblies were cleaned and the rotors, stators and associated cables were subjected to insulation and continuity testing.

Finally, ECS engineers turned their attention to the switchboard which governs the entire pumping capacity of the station. This included assessment of the two 3.3 kV incomers that deliver power to the site to give them a clean bill of health for years to come.

As a turnkey electro-mechanical service provider, ECS is uniquely positioned to meet the maintenance needs of the Environment Agency and its flood control assets. In terms of ensuring the protection of farmland or personal property, inspection and maintenance work carried out on these pumping installations is vital. In times of high-water level, this assurance will mean that West Stockwith pumping station not only continues to be a strong asset for the Environment Agency, but for the whole area.

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