Drinking water for Riyadh


KSB Fluid Systems GmbH in Frankenthal (Germany) has booked a large order worth some 6 million euro from a Saudi water supply company for the design of the complete hydraulics and all control equipment for a long-distance water supply system to be built in Saudi Arabia. Among others, the order is for the supply of ninety-seven pumps.

From a well field with an area of 5 times 13 kilometres, sixty-five submersible borehole pumps, each with a motor rating of 300 kW, will pump 360,000 m3 of drinking water a day to Riyadh, 170 kilometres away, via a dual pipeline.

The project poses a special engineering challenge in that the water supply system will not have any intermediate reservoirs. This so-called "closed" design considerably brings down the costs of maintaining and operating the system. At the same time, it increases the control effort to several times the normal scope, because the capacities of all pumps integrated in the pipeline have to be able to be stepped up or down in a carefully controlled manner.

Four pumping stations, each consisting of eight variable speed pumps, will transfer the water at a speed of around 1.8 metres per second. The thirty-two large pumps have a drive rating between 1500 and 2200 kW and they handle up to 3000 m3 of water per hour. The total head to be overcome in the system as a whole is 710 metres.

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