Tower Hamlets Council is installing multi-pump pressure-boosting sets in its high-rise blocks as part of a programme to improve water pressure in up to 40,000 properties in the borough.
The pump sets, supplied by Wilo Salmson, are being used to ensure residents have reliable access to potable water whenever they need it.
The Council is the largest single landlord in the Tower Hamlets which is located in the East End of London. Its size brings with it considerable responsibility for its residents, who recently experienced a drop in standing water pressures due to water and energy-saving initiatives introduced by the local water supplier, Thames Water, in an effort to combat leakages and waste.
Thames Water also introduced high-efficiency pumping units that lower the head pressure as demand falls. This has had the unfortunate effect of there being insufficient pressure to replenish storage tanks located in the upper floors of the blocks, leaving water reserves at very low levels, especially during the night when demand is at its lowest.
"As a local authority, we have a responsibility to supply water," Keith Fitzgerald, a mechanical engineer at Tower Hamlets Council, explained. "We had to do something in order to comply with our statutory requirements. The Wilo pumping units have completely overcome the problem. By installing Wilo pumps, we now have an effective programme that can tackle the lack of pressure before it affects peoples lives."
Wilo Comfort Vario pumps have been most recently installed in Bevin House, a five-storey block built in 1953, containing 31 properties. The booster set is equipped with three pumps each featuring an integrated frequency converter that allows automatic, variable-speed control between 1,500rpm and 3,770rpm. The infinitely adjustable pumps ensure that water is supplied through specially designed pump ports that minimise hydraulic-noise generation regardless of the demand levels.
"The Comfort Vario sets have a wide pumping range so they'll boost water equally as well for one tap as they do for 35," Keith said. "You don't have large pumps creating excessive noise when taps are turned on in the middle of the night. Indeed, Wilo's pumps overcome that problem by pumping the right volume of water when it's required. They're fully inverted, extremely quiet and you know you're going to get the right supply pressure."
The Wilo pump sets also minimise noise transmission by incorporating anti-vibration mounts under a galvanised steel base plate. Critically, the unit is delivered with certification detailing the comprehensive, pre-delivery factory tests carried out on all electrical and hydraulic functions. The Comfort Vario pumps are, therefore, not only extremely quiet, but also very reliable.
"We tend to specify Wilo circulators and pumps because they're the right pumps for the job and have a very high spec," Keith notes. The fully self-contained units also exceed the requirements of DIN 1988 and are equipped with DVGW-certified nickel-plated, bronze-ball isolating valves and a complete pipe system made of grade 316Ti stainless steel.