UK: Cromford Canal Cleanup Completed

Cromford Canal Cleanup Underway

Three of Shorflo’s 6” Super diesel pumps have enabled specialist contractor Ebsford Environmental clean-up over 2km of the Cromford Canal near Matlock for Derbyshire County Council.

The task required Ebsford Environmental to dredge the canal clear of accumulated silt to allow the use of horse-drawn passenger boats to give tours of the historic waterway, set in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Due to the narrowness of the towpath and dense trees and undergrowth on the opposite bank, access was severely limited. Furthermore, heavy plant on the towpath would have damaged the fragile habitat that is home to water voles and other wildlife.

Ebsford Environmental therefore used its amphibious Truxor dredging vehicle to carry out the work from within the canal itself.

The Truxor uses an on-board pump and Archimedes screw to dredge silt out,” explains Ebsford Environmental Technical director Mark Prout. “We then pump it into special dewatering bags where the silt de-waters naturally to leave solid material for disposal.”

The pump on the Truxor machine is only capable of pumping a distance of 200m but the access restrictions on this site meant the de-watering bags had to be located in fields at one end of the canal, meaning the silt needed to be pumped up to 1.2km. To achieve this, Ebsford Environmental hired in three 6” Super diesel pumps from Shorflo.


The 6” Super diesel solids handling pump is extremely quiet with noise levels at 53db (A). It is also extremely fuel efficient, its 180-litre tank and fuel consumption of 2.4 litres per hour allowing a running time of 80 hours/three days – one aspect that particularly appealed to Ebsford.

“Our pump fed straight into the first Shorflo pump and was then relayed to the other two pumps located at 600m intervals,” explains Mr Prout.

Besides the friction losses resulting from pumping over such a distance, the material, which was roughly 70% water and 30% solids, had to be pumped 14m above the level of the canal on its route to the dewatering bags, adding to the load.

We couldn’t have done this without the Shorflo pumps,” says Mr Prout.

The project was overseen by Derbyshire County Council and volunteers from the Friends of the Cromford Canal, whose president is actor Brian Blessed. Work began in March 2012 and was initially delayed by late snow.

We had eight foot snow drifts and for a long time couldn’t even locate the pipe,” declares Mr Prout.

With the return of better weather, work resumed and this stretch was finished by mid-May, having removed an estimated 5,0003m of silt from the canal.


Source: groundforce, August 21, 2013