16 October 2015

Shoreham Port’s latest video ‘Engineering Explained: Changing a Pump’  shows the importance of having several pumps in our Pump House that are used to pump water from the Outer Harbour into our impounded basin, which is known as the Canal.   If we didn’t pump water into the Canal, the level would go up and down with the tide and make it impossible to get the large commercial ships in and out.  

There are four pumps inside the Pump House, each pumping up to 8,500 tonnes of sea water an hour through underground steel pipes which lead into a 500 metre long concrete tunnel that empties into the Canal near the Power Station chimney. The steel pipes naturally need inspecting from time to time to ensure they are in the best condition to resist the high pressures and corrosive effects of the seawater flowing through them every day.

Last week, the Engineering Team at the Port carried out an inspection of the steel pipes leading from Pump Nos. 3 and 4.

The Engineering Team have all the skills and equipment needed to keep them safe when working in confined space underground and every such operation is very carefully planned and risk assessed.   The team is trained to use all the equipment needed – safety harnesses and lines, gas and oxygen level sensors and breathing apparatus to provide 15 minutes of air in the unlikely event of an emergency.  

Once the pipe had been well ventilated and the air quality in the pipe checked, our Engineering Manager (M&E), Gary O’Neill, entered each pipe through a 60cm inspection manhole to carry out the inspection. 

Gary commented “It is important that we have the skills and resources to carry out these inspections in-house as the impounding pumps and pipes are vital pieces of equipment and must be maintained in tip-top condition. It is quite surreal going underground along the pipes but having the right training and equipment and a great team behind you means you are completely safe. It’s all in a day’s work, really, but I was certainly pleased to see daylight again!”

To see the video please follow this link www.shoreham-port.co.uk/Video-Footage or go to the video footage page of our website.