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A major engineering project that will enable 9,000 litres of flood water a second to be pumped away from Portsmouth has been completed.
The Southern Water scheme, which comprises a huge underground pumping station, means the city is now better protected from flooding during storms.
The pumps are housed in a 20 metre-diameter x 15 metre-deep shaft under Bransbury Park, Eastney, and will act as a back-up facility to the existing station. The scheme took two years to complete and finished three months ahead of schedule.
Southern Water Director of Capital Delivery Andy Watson said: "We're delighted to have completed the stand-by station, which will pump stormwater and sewage to storage tanks when required, offering reinforcement to the existing pumping station. We understand schemes like this can cause some disruption and we'd like to thank the community for their patience while this work was carried out. Our priority now is to make sure the area is returned to its original condition, with just the maintenance covers visible in the park."
The project, carried out by supplier 4Delivery, was monitored by Considerate Constructor Scheme auditors, who, in March 2009, called the site "exceptional".
As a result, the team was presented with a Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Award in April 2010. It was also highly commended at the Institution of Civil Engineers Excellence Awards on June 11.
Throughout the scheme, thousands of pounds were donated to good causes, including the Bransbury Park Community Centre, the Down Syndrome Educational Trust and Portsmouth and Southsea Voluntary Lifeguards.