One of the new pumps on a concrete platform with the old access in the background. Credit: Southern Pumping.
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A straightforward dust suppression upgrade for Holcim’s Albion Park Quarry was hit by one in one-hundred-year flood. Thankfully, the experts at Southern Pumping were on the job and able to help steer Holcim through the unexpected turn of events.

Wetter than wet

In 2022, Holcim approached Southern Pumping about a dust issue affecting the main sales area at their Albion Park Quarry that would require some water suppression.

Despite being ready to commence, the project came to a grinding halt with flooding caused by the extreme weather events of 2022.

Holcim’s Albion Park Quarry Pit Manager, Elliot Scott, said, “When the Illawarra receives these rain events, the main dam will rise and overwhelm the current pumping setup. The pump would remain underwater for some days and require replacement to bring it back into service.”

Responsive and adaptable, Southern Pumping was quick to reassess the project, as the site that was initially identified for locating the pumps had been swallowed by the one in one-hundred-year flood.

The Holcim site water levels on a regular day. Image: Southern Pumping

The Holcim site water levels on a regular day. Image: Southern Pumping

Changing pump needs

While Holcim stabilised the site, Southern Pumping got to work sourcing the new system. Pumps were recommended to be elevated to a platform out of the flood zone, the DSP self-priming trash pump and Tsurumi aerator specified, and a larger standpipe pump added in.

Once the aerator cleaned out some of the aquatic weed, the submersible bore pumps on flotation devices would be lowered and the dust suppression could begin.

As well as the dust suppression rings being used at various points around the 176,000m² site, another line-up would feed water to a concrete tank, which would then turn the water supply to the quarry’s crusher plant.

Loading the truck for delivery to Holcim. Image: Southern Pumping.

Loading the truck for delivery to Holcim. Image: Southern Pumping.

Pipeline finesse

Proving that fresh eyes can make all the difference, Southern Pumping was able to lend its expertise on the conduit placement across the Albion Park site.

“Southern Pumping’s understanding of plumbing made for a trouble free process during installation,” Mr Scott said.

“Adapting to changes as we came across them and working on a resolution was never an issue.”

All’s well that floats well

The new water suppression system will be controlled by a variable speed pump, an improvement on the previous fixed speed, which will give Holcim greater control over the water distribution across the site. As a project that still has a long way to go, Holcim are happy with what they’ve seen so far and excited for what’s to come.

“Southern Pumping has been a great help with design and installation on the new system. With the setup still in the commissioning stages and unable to see the true effects of the upgrade, we are excited of the potential,” Mr Scott said.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Southern Pumping.

Featured image: One of the new pumps on a concrete platform with the old access in the background. Credit: Southern Pumping.

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