Today marks a milestone in the £17 million program of improvements at the Foss Barrier in York as the installation of the last of eight new, high capacity pumps is completed.
Weighing 6.5 tonnes each and at a cost of £800,000, they are capable of pumping around 50 cubic metres, or 50 tonnes, of water per second.
The pumping station is now able to cope with the highest flows down the River Foss and will provide the City of York with an increased level of resilience this winter.
This resilience will be further increased next year when a new power supply will be installed and the pumping station’s operation room will be housed on a new, raised level.
Tony Andryszewski, project lead for the Foss Barrier improvement work at the Environment Agency said:
“The installation of the new pumps means the city is better protected this winter as we can now deal with the same size of flood we experienced last December. “
The Foss Barrier is a 16.5 tonne gate that when lowered, prevents high levels from the River Ouse entering the River Foss. When the barrier is down, water cannot flow from the Foss into the Ouse, so water is pumped around the barrier into the Ouse through the pumping station.
The pumping station suffered extensive damage on Boxing Day 2015, including the loss of power to the gate and pumps when it was overwhelmed by flood water.
The work to upgrade the barrier is part of a wider long-term plan to reduce flooding to York.