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West Wickham


Following a history of flash floods over a number of years, Thames Water decided to implement a series of flood alleviation measures to protect the pumping station. The client’s main requirement was that the pumping station system would continue to function under flood conditions and not become affected by the flood waters.

The majority of the site had previously been protected from flooding by a reinforced concrete bund wall, however, for initial access requirements, the main entrance to the site remained unprotected. It became apparent to the client that the main entrance was subject to surface water entering in a flood situation and affecting the operation of the pumping station.

GBM (a joint venture between Galliford Try, Biwater and Mott Macdonald) who were working for Thames Water identified the need for a passive product to protect the main entrance to the pumping station. The site required a flood defence system that allowed un-impeded vehicular access and also the ability to close automatically in the event of a flood.


After researching the market GBM chose our self activating barrier as the optimum solution that would best meet their specific requirements. The barrier is passive, requiring no human, mechanical or electrical intervention to operate. It is activated by flood water, meaning instant protection against any surface water flooding entering the pumping station.

The solution was to install a 1.5m high x 5m wide barriers in the bund wall that would operate to protect the site under flood conditions only. Telemetry was also included to activate a warning system and inform site managers via SMS and email when the barrier deploys.