Flygt helps Tube Lines keep water at bay

Liquid handling and pump specialist ITT Flygt has helped Tube Lines to control a potential flooding problem on the London Underground, and increase its water monitoring capability.

Working in partnership with London Underground, Tube Lines is responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of all the infrastructure on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, with more than 200 miles of track, 255 trains and 100 stations. As part of the largest improvement programme the Tube has ever seen, the company is committing over £4.4 billion in the first 7½ years of its 30-year PPP contract.

The risks of flooding and excess water that could disrupt the Tube network and cause delays are an ever-present concern. One specific problem area was trackside at Kennington Underground station, where a small sump is used to collect rainwater. Previously, a pump would be activated when a certain water level was reached, but without adequate monitoring there was always the risk of pump failure and track flooding.

Tube Lines called in Flygt to assess and resolve the problem. Teams from Flygt Service and Flygt Monitoring and Control worked together to devise and provide a complete solution to reduce the flood risk and improve visibility. With trackside training, they worked through several nights to install a new pump, cabling and telemetry control panel, with connections to Tube Lines engineers and the central control facility, at Canary Wharf. To gain the advantages of a common alarm monitoring process, a number of other pumps around the station were also wired into the control system at the same time,

Pump operation and water levels are now monitored continually. A conductivity probe in the sump provides a signal to the telemetry panel in the control room, where a Dynamic Logic D7000 outstation unit from Flygt measures the water level, checks the status of the pump, activates pump operation is some cases, and logs the date and time. If necessary, it sends an automatic text message to the mobile phone of the appropriate engineer, alerting him to the fact that the water level is high and needs attention. This enables the engineering team to react swiftly to urgent situations, based on accurate and up-to-the-minute information.

Data is also transmitted automatically over a telephone line from the telemetry panel to the Tube Lines main SCADA system, at Canary Wharf. Here, Flygt’s Aquaview software provides central monitoring and control functionality, with bitmap images of the remote site, and detailed management information on water volumes, flows and levels.

Guy Fitzpatrick, Flygt Monitoring & Control’s Product Marketing Manager, says “These Flygt facilities are now providing Tube Lines with the sophisticated and reliable tools it needs for real-time monitoring and visibility, improved planned maintenance, and the means to protect their part of the Tube network from the risks and problems of flooding”.