Hydro Cleansing are passionate about keeping drainage infrastructure running cleanly. From sewers to loos; from pump station maintenance to flood response, our mission is to clean it up and dispose of it safely. It’s a simple mission but one we fulfil with more creativity and innovation than anyone else!
We are passionate about pump station maintenance, so we’re excited to tell you about the little known marvel of engineering that is the Victorian Pump Station behind Surrey Street in Croydon.
This fresh water pump station was one of the first ever built. Baldwin Latham Engineering designed and built this innovative structure and also wrote a guide to sanitary engineering and sewer construction in London.
Victorian engineering developed at an incredible rate. The pace of development in the cities is comparable to today’s digital revolution. Some things don’t change however. The Victorian saying,
“a man should look to his drains before he furnishes his drawing room,”
is as true as ever. The need to clear drainage is as much a necessity now as it was then. Excellent installation, maintenance and repair provide peace of mind. In the Victorian era this was achieved in a very basic fashion compared to how Hydro Cleansing do it!
Safety and efficiency in confined space work are delivered beyond what Victorian engineers could imagine. Their PPE consisted of a hat and boots, today our confined space engineers are kept a lot safer! In the Victorian age, the confined space operatives would pull ploughs through the sewers to unblock them! Thankfully innovation has led to Megatron’s power to decimate blockages in hours through the simple power of high pressure water and vacuum suction. Baldwin and Latham would be amazed! Bazalgette probably saw it coming though!
As London smoothly continued its business, Hydro Cleansing moved into the dirty underworld of a pump station in West London. After a free site survey HCL established that four screens within it were on the verge of becoming blocked.
Four vast 4m high screens were located within a 20m deep shaft. This would be an overwhelming job for most companies. Megatron’s force was the only answer!
To accompany the beast, HCL sent an articulated bulk tanker to hold the waste and a five man confined space team. The team comprised of one topman, a two man working team and a two man rescue team. With extendible hand lances, the engineers were winched into the large space to blast the rag off even the highest parts of the massive screens. Not only vacuuming the silt and rag 20m vertically, Megatron’s phenomenal jetting force was required to cut the rag loose. A hydrant near the pump station provided a good water flow which was then blasted though the beast’s powerful hoses. These screens were fixed in place. Our confined space team worked using the jetting equipment and crow bars to chop through the rag. Lights powered by Megatron’s generator and the lights on the engineer’s hardhats lit the gloomy space.
The screens are in the pump station to act as grates to filter the solid waste, allowing the liquid waste through. Having not been cleaned for a number of years, the silt was almost at dangerous levels. Rag and solid waste caked the giant grates. Clearing them efficiently was essential. The silt that had built up behind it had to be removed and disposed of immediately. The utility company, who we were working on behalf of, closed the sewer’s pen stocks (large gates that act as valves regulating the flow of the sewer) temporarily which allowed the work to go ahead. A storm hit after the first day. The sewer had to be allowed to flow. Our team returned after the storm’s flow had abated and finished the remaining screens.
The engineers had compressed air breathing equipment on site in case it became necessary. Our confined space engineers were winched down into the space. They were equipped with masks and air bottles in case of gas emergencies and we had supplies of compressed air and hose with us in case it was necessary. The team could wear masks and have air pumped from above. Thankfully, this turned out not to be necessary.
Before, during and after cleaning the pump station screens:
We were delighted to complete this job for one of the South East’s largest utility companies. Our engineers’ hard work and the almighty force of Megatron allowed them to complete the job in three days!
To find out more about Megatron aka the Wastewater Monster click here