The Official Pumping Ceremony

Lord Provost George Adams flicks the switch!

For the first time in over 40 years, we were about to pump water from Rubislaw Quarry and what better day to choose to do it. It was torrential and the following summer of 2012 would go on to be one of the wettest in history!

After our succesful survey in March, where we identified the 1,350,000,000 gallons of water we were about to handle, "P-Day" had arrived and our Lord Provost, George Adams, arrived suitably dressed for the occasion and with his entourage carrying a selection of brolleys. We had done all the preparatory work with our pumping consultant, Scott McGinigal, Aberdeen City Roads Department had built an outfall to take the water to the West Burn of Rubislaw, Hutcheon Electrical had installed our electrical supply, SLD Pumps and Power provided the submersible pump and neccesary pipe connections and last but not least, the Balomoral Group provided us with a buoy to make sure SLD's pump didn't sink to the bottom of Europe's largest man-made hole!

We had been given the green light from SEPA and the time had come. You could say it was an anti-climax as there were no fireworks as the electrical switch started the pump but we were very happy as we couldn't hear a thing. It was perfect, no noise to bother the neighbours or wildlife. In fact we wondered if it was working at all and after the official ceremony and another photocall, we hurried down to the local burn and was convinced it wasn't working, as there was no apparant difference to the flow in the burn, even with the increased rainfall!

However, we checked the outfall and the pump was working perfectly, pumping at a rate of 15litres/second. By the end of November, 27 million gallons of water later, the level has been reduced by 3 metres and the pump has been switched off for the foreseeable future. The risk of flooding has now been permanently removed, as we can control the level at an acceptable rate to the authorities and it will be at least 2016, before we need to consider pumping again.