Fish Friendly Pump

Bedford Pumps, the UK’s leading manufacturer of large submersible and conventional pumps for the Land Drainage industry, has recently installed and commissioned a direct drive variant of their Fish Friendly pumps for Cam Pumping Station in the South Level Cambridgeshire Fens. Bedford Pumps worked with consultants, Hannah Reed, in upgrading Cam for Waterbeach Level IDB to supply a new, fish friendly solution for this land drainage station.


The Fenland area is comprised of mainly high grade agricultural land, much of which is below sea level, considerably below flood level, and therefore totally dependent on pumped drainage. Cam Pumping Station is one of three stations within the district and part of a 7000 acre (2857ha) pumped catchment, managed by Waterbeach Level Internal Drainage Board.

Cam Pumping Station, located close to the village of Streatham, discharges directly into the River Cam. The pumping station had been operating with a combination of old diesel driven and one electric pump, but with a requirement for the pumps to be upgraded combined with new legislation requiring that measures be put into place to reduce eel mortality at pumping stations, the decision was made to install two new pumps from Bedford’s Fish Friendly range.

Fish Friendly pump

Bedford Pumps new Fish Friendly pump being installed at Cam Pumping Station.


Bedford Pumps manufactured, installed and commissioned two DAF (Fish Friendly Direct Drive Axial Flow) pumps for Cam Pumping Station through consultants Hannah Reed. The pumps have been installed in a vertical suspended position with below floor discharge, in a new sump on the existing site. The pumps are powered by electric motor through a gearbox with an external PTO facility. This offers the ability to drive the pump by tractor in the event of a power failure. Each pumpset will discharge roughly 300 gallons (1150 liters) per second at 18.37 feet (5.6 meters) head.

In addition to the pumps, Bedford Pumps also supplied Siphon Breaker Valves and Sub Bellmouth Flow Splitters for the units. They also undertook the M & E works for the site, taking out the old control panel and replacing it with a new Motor Control Center. This will operate both the new pumps and an existing pump, which was retained as a stand-by.

fish friendly impeller

Bedford Pumps’ fish friendly impeller.


Bedford Pumps’ new range of Fish Friendly pumps are a complete solution for eel regulation compliance. There need be no changes to the civil structure, nor additional fish scare tactics. Utilising a Fish Friendly pump will even improve hydraulic efficiency with an 8 percent reduction in power absorbed. Bedford Pumps’ Fish Friendly pumps cover from 105 to 2377 gallons (400 to 9000 liters) per second at 6.6 to 45.9 feet (2 to 14 meters) head. Fish Friendly pumpsets are available as a submersible, mixed flow or direct drive variants.

Bedford Pumps Fish Friendly pumps have proven credentials awarded from independent research consultants in the field of water management, VisAdvies BV, following extensive and stringent trials. The tests prove conclusively that Bedford Pumps’ range of submersible and direct drive pumps are fish and eel friendly with no direct mortality observed from exposure to the pump, with the official report going so far as to state that Bedford Pumps have manufactured the “best fish friendly pump on the market.”

Bedford Pumps range of Fish Friendly pumps offer a complete solution for Eel Regulation compliance. There need be no changes to the civil structure, nor additional fish scare tactics. A Fish Friendly pump can be retrofitted in place of an existing pump and can be installed in a variety of configurations. Utilising a Fish Friendly pump also demonstrates a significant improvement in hydraulic efficiency with up to 10 percent reduction in power absorbed.


Lucy Ogden is the marketing manager for Bedford Pumps Ltd. For further information, email her at, call 01234.852071, or visit the Bedford Pumps website at

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