This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.


Supplies restored after Cumbrian floods

ABB Motor Service Partner Central Electrical swung into emergency response mode to help United Utilities cope with the recent floods that devastated Cockermouth and surrounding areas.

ABB Motor Service Partner helps restore supplies after Cumbrian floods

The floods, caused by up to 314 mm of rain in parts of the area, forced the evacuation of 1,000 homes and left parts of Cockermouth under eight feet of water. United Utilities, the water supplier for the area, had several of its water and wastewater treatment stations flooded, including Barepot Industrial Water and Yearl intake for Barepot used for the Workington Industrialists, Ulpha Water Treatment Works which had been re-zoned to Poaka Beck Water Treatment work to prevent disruption to customers and Penrith, Keswick and Cockermouth Waste Water Treatment Works.

Jonathon Deegan-Ross, North Lancashire Water Maintenance Service Manager for United Utilities, said: "We realised we had a major problem on our hands at 6.00 pm on the Thursday. Motors at Barepot Water Treatment Works (WTW) were underwater, as were those at our Yearl site, which feeds Barepot from its position three hundred yards away on the River Derwent. We managed to de-energise the power supplies and waited for the floodwater to subside."

On Saturday morning the flood waters started to recede, giving Deegan-Ross a chance to assess the situation. The Barepot WTW has two 135kW motors and a 200 kW motor. "We managed to start drying out the motors but we realised that that we would need to replace or repair them with minimum delay if we were to get back into operation quickly and serve our customers," says Deegan-Ross.

Barepot was the most seriously damaged site and United Utilities was particularly keen to get it operational again in order to serve its industrial customers in the area, which have a water requirement of 35 million litres a day.

Deegan-Ross called ABB Motor Service partner Central Electrical of Merseyside, a company they had worked with for a number of years. Within an hour of the call, Central Electrical had engineers despatched to Cumbria to assess the damage. As well as motors, a number of fuses and a variable speed drive were needed.

Central Electrical made use of the national ABB Motor Service Partner network, drawing on their extensive local stock to replace motors that could not be repaired. Central Electrical dedicated two vans to collecting motors from ABB Motors Service Partners and getting them modified to suit the mechanical mounting arrangements at either their Knowsley workshop or in United Utilities own workshops in Cumbria. Such was the urgency that the Central Electrical vans carrying the motors were given a police escort to the site in Cumbria where they arrived at 2.00am Sunday – just 15 hours after receiving the initial call for assistance.

Liam Brown, Administration Manager for Central Electrical, says: "We also brought back 13 motors for repair in our workshop in Knowsley. Working on a 24 hour turn round, the motors were cleaned and repaired with their bearings replaced and were back operating on site on the Wednesday following the flood weekend."

Says Deegan-Ross: "Central’s performance was very good, particularly since it was out of hours. They arranged transport as well, which was another challenge as many of the bridges in the area were down or closed, meaning extra long journeys. These efforts helped us get water supplies back online very quickly. With Central’s help, the floods meant supplies were disrupted only from Thursday to Sunday, which helped us maintain the confidence of some our biggest customers."

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

Electrical Products