December sees the first anniversary of floods which devastated a Yorkshire town in the north of the UK. Tadcaster suffered its worst floods on record in 2015 and homes and businesses were damaged and destroyed. This winter the townspeople are fighting back against the elements with specialist water pumps.
Over the past five years, Tadcaster has suffered with constant surface water flooding. Last year was particularly bad when the bridge over the River Wharfe collapsed, dividing the town in two. The floods and subsequent water damage have cost local businesses and residents hundreds of thousands of pounds, with direct costs in the form of business closures during repairs, lost incomes, property repairs and insurance premiums, as well as the wider impact of road closures and limited access to the town.
The Tadcaster Flood Action Group was created to help fight against this major recurring issue and to ensure emergency contingency plans were in place. After the floods of 2015, the group received generous donations from the community and local businesses. This provided the opportunity for the group to investigate the pumps market and purchase flood pumps which could be used anywhere in the town on either a reactive or proactive basis wherever flooding occurred.
Aerial view of a flood damaged road bridge over the River Wharfe in Tadcaster. (Image: Neil Mitchell/Shutterstock)
Having undertaken extensive research into products that were robust and durable enough to take on the task, Tadcaster selected the specialist family owned site machinery business, Morris Site Machinery. Many discussions took place with the local Fire Service, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency before they decided on the Hilta C100 pump, supplied by the company. Their company representative came on the scene to clarify Tadcaster's requirements and come up with a price that was covered by the generous donations the flood group had received.
The Tadcaster Flood Action Group needed a tough and reliable product that could be easily towed, set up and put into immediate use in an emergency and pump the flood water away from the town.
The Hilta C100 hard at work. (Image: Tadcaster Flood Action Group)
The Hilta range from Morris Site Machinery supplies submersible, centrifugal and diaphragm pumps. The entire unit on the Hilta C100 has a road towable trailer and two-wheel site chassis options for easier manoeuvrability and a compact design which makes it easier to transport.
After rigorous testing of Morris Site Machinery's pumps, Tadcaster Flood Action Group ordered two Hilta C100 pumps to tackle the flooding hot spots on both sides of the River Wharfe.To test the products, the group used a deep flowing beck with plenty of depth for the soil filter. Once the hoses were in place and rolled out they ensured that they were pumping back into the water supply 100 m away to keep the beck full. Hilta's C100 pump has a strong centre of balance which made hitching and un-hitching easy and, once located for pumping, the testing was straightforward. Only two minutes later the pump was lifting water at an impressive outflow rate.
An added benefit is that the C100 pumps can be used in residential and built-up areas due to their diesel powered 4 inch super silent automatic vacuum priming pump which generates very little noise. The air cooled diesel engine allows better fuel efficiency whilst the 4 inch pump offers high solids handling capacity.
After the exercise, Tadcaster undertook the cleaning procedure for the pump which is required after every use or every 4-6 weeks. This is an easy process and prevents the build-up of silt and fragments inside the pump.
Volunteers with the Hilta C100 pump. (Image: Tadcaster Flood Action Group)
Richard Rafferty, senior co-ordinator of Tadcaster Flood Action Group, said: “We were more than happy with the Hilta C100 pumps and would happily recommend Morris Site Machinery for their products, their value and their customer service.”
Chris Morris, CEO of Morris Site Machinery, said: “As emergency planning moves higher up the agenda, it comes as no surprise that demand is increasing. We pride ourselves in working in close collaboration with our customers in contingency planning and providing the right products for the job.
“Our market-leading Hilta pumps have been manufactured in the UK for over 40 years and are a key product in our power portfolio. They are recognised for their robustness and reliability, supported by the personal and efficient service we aim to provide for all our customers.”
Chris Morris, CEO of Morris Site Machinery.