The £44million Forres (River Findhorn & Pilmuir) Flood Alleviation Scheme was completed last year and was built to reduce damage due to flooding in an area that has been impacted by heavy rainfall events over the last 20 years. As a vital element of the scheme, the Pilmuir pumping station protects the town of Forres to alleviate overland flooding problems. The pumping station is used when the gravity fed drainage channel cannot drain into the River Findhorn. Designed to control excess water to meet the potential of a once in a century event plus climate change, the scheme gives vital protection to the residents, businesses and transport links in this area and is estimated to have already avoided £27 million of potential damages. Veolia will be responsible for the day-to- day and long term maintenance of the pump station which must remain ready for operation at all times. If it fails to operate during a flood event then properties in Forres may be at risk of flooding – events which occurred in 1997, 2002, 2009 and 2014 before the scheme was completed.
Commenting on the new contract, John Abraham, COO Water at Veolia, UK and Ireland, said “Fast and effective management of flood water is key to avoiding impacts on the local area. As these high rainfall events have increased over the years, our teams can provide the vital support and sustain this infrastructure to protect communities and businesses.”
Regular effective maintenance, proof testing and swift response to alarms from the pumping station’s automated systems are crucial components of the ready for operation philosophy. Alarms from the pumping station will be monitored remotely from Veolia’s Control Centre at Lossiemouth which includes remote monitoring and control over a network of 23 pumping stations. Veolia’s local service teams will manage the planned and reactive maintenance using mechanical, electrical and instrumentation, control and automation engineers and a specialist pump engineer.
“Fast and effective management of flood water is key to avoiding impacts on the local area. Our teams can provide the vital support and sustain this infrastructure to protect communities and businesses.”
John Abraham, COO Water at Veolia, UK and Ireland