Overhaul for vital flood defence asset

The old sluice gate being removed
The old sluice gate being removed

An important flood defence asset in Boston has been given a major overhaul - with a £692,000 refurbishment.

The work began at Hobhole Pumping Station in December following a grant from Government’s flood defence aid programme.

An archival shot of Hobhole Pumping station in the early days

An archival shot of Hobhole Pumping station in the early days

The Witham Fourth Internal Drainage Board (IDB), which owns and runs the pumping station on the north bank of the Haven, has been busy delivering the refurbishment programme - which has just seen the two main sluice gates replaced at a cost of more than £100,000 each.

Other repairs taken place include the replacement of corroded diesel storage tanks and the cooling system.

Two new tidal doors are also set to be replaced - with the work expected to be complete by the summer.

The board says it is confident that when the final elements of the programme are delivered in 2015, the pumping station will have an extended life of another 20 years, providing good levels of flood protection and land drainage to the Boston area.

Chief executive Peter Bateson said: “This work was done just in time as Christmas holidays were disrupted for the third year in a row as the pumping station had to be manned and operated for five days between Christmas and New Year to reduce water levels following significant rainfall in the area on Boxing day.

“This is our most significant asset and the quality of our bid, together with the economic value of what we are protecting, ensured that this project was nationally funded, giving better value for money to local rate payers.”

Completed in June 1957, Hobhole Pumping Station is the largest pumping station owned and operated by the Witham Fourth IDB.

It lies at the end of the Hobhole Drain and directly reduces the flood risk to 1,382 properties and 18,031 hectares of agricultural land.