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  • How the human race is defending itself against flooding

    Although it might not feel like it, the UK is widely expected to suffer a drought in incoming months. And whilst it may seem like the worst time to start preparing for a flood, it is arguably the best. Floods are often so damaging because the defences made to combat them are often a case of too little, too late. And, unlike a waterlogged garden, you can’t just use drainage pumps. Through months, and sometimes years of preparation, areas of the world have been able to successfully defend themselves against floods. Here are some of the most interesting cases.

    Flood barrierdrainage pumps

    The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier in the Netherlands is the largest of its kind in the world. Designed and constructed in response to the devastating 1953 North Sea Flood that proved fatal for thousands, the Oosterscheldekering (as it is also known) incorporates 4 kilometres sluice-gate-type doors that are only closed during adverse weather conditions. It has been so successful that (as part of the broader Delta Works project) it has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

    Hydroelectric dam

    Whilst the Oosterscheldekering is essentially a flood barrier, the Three Gorges Dam in China also doubles as a hydroelectric dam. Because of its 22 cubic km flood storage capacity, the dam is slated to reduce major downstream flooding as an incidence from one in every ten years to one in every hundred years. Alongside its proficiency as an anti-flood measure, the Three Gorges Dam also provides enough electricity to provide for 3% of the national demand.

    Channel modification

     In order to circumvent the pooling of rivers that causes flooding, the river course can be widened, deepened and straightened, to make the speed of flow of the water faster. Channel modification has been carried out on 25% of all the main rivers in England and Wales. While it is clear that channelisation has helped to reduce the risk of flooding, it can also have negative ecological repercussions - the dredging of the Charlton River in northern Missouri in the US caused the number of species present in the modified areas to fall to 13. In the natural areas of the river, 21 different species remained.

    Managed/ ecological flooding

    Ecological flooding is a more recent approach to combatting flooding. Why would you encourage the very thing you are trying to prevent? The answer is that, whilst you are allowing flooding to occur, you are only allowing it to happen in areas that you specify, which prevents it from happening in the highly areas you do not want it to happen. Aside from - diverted floodwaters away from settlements, managed flooding also aids the animal kingdom. An investigation of the ramifications of managed flooding in south-eastern Australia, found that it promoted the diversity of species present.

    Afforestationdrainage pumps

    Afforestation is potentially the most environmentally friendly anti-flood measure. By introducing more greenery, more rainwater is intercepted and used for photosynthesis and consequently prevented from ever reaching the river. The Mississippi River is one notable example of how this approach has paid dividends. As a counter-measure to the 1993 floods, a programme of afforestation was pursued and it has ultimately helped to reduce flooding by reducing the river discharge.

    With global warming making summers drier but winters wetter, do you think we should be doing more to combat the threat of flooding?

  • How pumps are being used to save lives

    Water for Life - shower pumpsBy definition, a pump is a device that moves fluids by mechanical action. The form which this mechanism takes is becoming more and more diverse. We are all familiar with central heating pumps and shower pumps, but pumps are increasingly being used to save lives across the globe, thanks to the latest technology. From people suffering from heart problems in the UK, to those struggling with respiratory problems in Malawi, pumps have been able to grant them all a new lease of life.

    Preventing death from waterborne diseases

    In many areas across the world, people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Often dependent on a single body of water, residents often have no choice but to consume contaminated water plagued with disease. Inevitably, this leads to countless deaths from diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.

    That is why it is so important that wells are built to provide safe drinking water. Fresh water can be transported up to ground level from hundreds of feet below using submersible pumps, providing residents with water they can consume without risking death.

    Saving those that are too ill to undergo a heart transplant

    A research programme headed by world renowned heart surgeon, Sir Magdi Yacoub, has made huge strides towards saving the lives of those who would otherwise die waiting for heart transplants from cardiomyopathy. Instead, a 3 by 5 inch pump is implanted into the abdomen and attached to the left ventricle. Deputising for the failing left ventricle, the HeartMate 2 allows the heart to continue to pump fresh blood around the body.

    While the heart is bolstered by the pump, the patient is given high doses of heart failure drugs that the diseased heart would not otherwise be able to cope with. Many patients, who were so ill that they were taken off the heart transplant list, were able to make a full recovery thanks to this pump without even having to undergo a transplant.

    Innovations that are saving people in the developing world

    In the developing world, conventional medical technology is invariably too expensive to procure. Fortunately, researchers at world leading universities like Rice and MIT have created viable, cost-effective alternatives for those in developing countries in desperate need of medical assistance.

    Bicycle pump nebuliser

    One such example is the spawn of MIT’s Innovations in International Health; a nebuliser constructed using a bicycle pump. For the unfamiliar, a nebuliser provides emergency relief for patients suffering from respiratory diseases. The bicycle pump replaces the air compressor of the nebuliser, and allows it to run in the absence of electricity, making it a more cost-effective and versatile replacement.

    Fish tank pump CPOP machine

    Another example of innovation at its finest is the fish tank pump that is being used to ensure the survival of premature new-borns in developing countries. Researchers at Rice University have created a functioning Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine for a tenth of the price - using only a box and a fish tank pump. Trialled in Malawi, the device had an immediate impact, the survival rate of premature babies jumped from 43% to 71%.

  • The History of Hygiene

    Today, we almost take our instant access to steaming jets of hot water at the flick of a switch for granted. Many of us forget the technological advances that have occurred over the past millennia that have morphed and evolved into the likes of the Stuart Turner showermate that we have today. Some of our ancestors braved waterfalls whilst others went months or even years without washing at all. Of course, bathing practices varied wildly across the planet as social and cultural factors dictated. To enlighten you on how human washing habits have changed over the years, we have put together this quick history of hygiene.

    Ancient Egypt

    The Ancient Egyptians were known to have used a substance called natron for bathing. A kind of naturally occurring soda ash that, when combined with oil, made a primitive version of soap. Besides using natron regularly, esteemed members of Ancient Egyptian society had their servants pour jugs of cold water over them in order to maintain a sense of cleanliness.

    Ancient Rome 

    Stuart Turner showermate Ancient Roman bathhouse in Bath

    The Ancient Romans are famous for the aqueducts they instituted across their lands to supply the bathhouses that were a feature of every city. It was commonplace for Romans to attend the bathhouses not only to wash, but also to socialise. Thermae, large imperial bath complexes, and balneae, their smaller-scale equivalents, generally contained a caldarium (hot bath) a tepidarium (warm heated room) and a frigidarium (cold bath) as well as a gymnasium, a library and areas to eat and drink. Although soap was still strictly a luxury good for the Romans, it was common for men to apply oils to their bodies before bathing.

    The Middle Ages

    During the late Middle Ages, hygiene declined as a priority for society for a number of reasons. Public bathhouses became rife with prostitution, and consequently became seen as a place of sin and a place to be avoided. The rise of linen clothing, which was easier to wash than their woolen predecessors, made it easier for people to wash only their face, hands and neck to retain an illusion of cleanliness. Laundry rather than bathing became a weekly routine as perceived cleanliness was supposed to reflect not only the soul of an individual, but also their social status.

    18th and 19th century

    1767 saw the first patent for a shower by William Feetham from Ludgate Hill in London. Although the earliest showers required a hand pump for use, they were more popular than baths because the servants had less water to carry away. In the mid-nineteenth century the increased prevalence of indoor plumbing and the mass production of soap made washing far easier and far more regular.

    20th century

    Tank-less water heaters developed during the 20th century and they became popular for their ability to provide an instant supply of hot water. By the time the 1990s rolled around, 62% of all households in the UK had a shower and there was the choice between an electric shower, a mixer shower and a power shower.


    Today, 86% of all households in the UK have a shower, and we are fortunate enough to have access to whatever pressure and temperature we desire.

  • A look at some of the world’s most spectacular water features!

    Whether it's a simple garden feature, or a state-of-the-art focal point of a room; water features have been used by architects across the globe to decorate and embellish the architecture of some of the most important cities in the world. Such is the ferocity and complexity of the jets of water that you can’t help but wonder what kind of booster pump they use? Regardless, it is impossible to deny the sheer spectacle of the following water features.

    Banpo Moonlight Rainbow Fountain (Seoul, South Korea) 

    booster pump Banpo Bridge

    The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain in Seoul, South Korea, connects the Seocho and Yongsan districts and is not only a thing of beauty, but also a marvel of efficient engineering. The water that shoots out of the world’s longest bridge fountain is recycled directly from the River Han itself and the 10,000 lights that illuminate the water are energy-efficient LED nozzles. Music, lights and water all synergise to perform a several shows a day, with the day and night shows having distinct sequences.

    Trevi Fountain - (Rome, Italy)

    The oldest and most famous water feature on the list; the Trevi Fountain in Rome was built in 1762. With the backdrop of the Palazzo Poli, the Trevi Fountain plays host to sculptures of mythological Greek gods and creatures as well as the papal crest. As the largest Baroque fountain in the world, it attracts millions of visitors every year. According to ritual, throwing a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder will ensure you return to Rome in the future. It is estimated that €3000 are thrown into the fountain every day and the coins are collected to prevent theft and support the poor people of Rome.

    Swarovski Crystal Head Fountain (Innsbruck, Austria)

    The Swarovski Crystal Head Fountain in Innsbruck, Austria, conceals the entrance to the Crystal Worlds theme park. The way the structure is embedded into the surrounding hills makes it seem as through the crystal head is emerging from the green landscape itself.  The water spilling out from the head’s mouth only serves to further make the crystal head seem as though it is a living, breathing thing.

    Friendship of Peoples Fountain (Moscow, Russia) 

    booster pump Friendship of Peoples Fountain

    Located in the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy in Moscow (VDNKh), the Friendship of Peoples fountain is the centrepiece of the entire park. Dressed in national attire, the sixteen golden sculptures of women that surround and look out from the central fountain are symbolic of the republics that made up the Soviet Union as of the fountain’s construction in 1952.

    Crown Fountain (Chicago, USA) 

    The brainchild of Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, the Crown Fountain incorporates two facing 50 feet tall glass brick towers separated by a black granite reflecting pool. The towers display the faces of Chicago residents and the spout of water is designed to appear to be falling from their mouths. The dichotomy between the faces on the facing towers is supposed to be a representation of the diversity of the ethnicity and age of people in Chicago.

    Which fountain is on your bucket list to visit?

  • How major sports teams are leading the energy-saving revolution

    Sports teams have some of the highest energy bills in the world. With upwards of 80,000 fans attending each game, vast amounts of energy have to be harvested in order to accommodate for it all. Thousands and thousands of air miles are clocked up every year by fans and players alike. Food, drinks, and toilets cater for fans, while groundskeepers, in conjunction with an array of machinery and fertilisers, work tirelessly to provide a supreme surface for play. Somewhere amongst all that energy consumption, there must be some room for streamlining, right? Thankfully, these teams are taking steps to remedy this.

    shutterstock_136818503 Allianz Arena

    Bayern Munich - Allianz Arena 

    Metal halide fixtures have traditionally dominated the lighting of major sports stadiums, but LED lighting is slowly but surely turning the tide. Without needing 30 minutes to warm up to full brightness and with far greater energy efficiency, LEDs are saving time and thousands of kilowatts of energy. Bayern Munich has teamed up with electronics giant Phillips to launch an expansive layer of lights that completely covers the outer shell of the Allianz Arena. Energy efficient LED lights result in a 60% energy saving, and 38000 of them combine to form the impressive outer membrane which is capable of reproducing an astonishing 16 million colours.

    San Francisco 49ers - Levi’s Stadium

    The first NFL stadium to achieve the LEED Gold status for new construction, the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium has a tremendous capability for energy-saving. One such innovation is a geothermal hot water pump that absorbs the energy generated by the sun drenched ground that surrounds the stadium and uses it generate a supply of hot water. Testament to the success of the stadium is the fact that they are able to recycle a startlingly high 85% of their water.

    Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City - Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

    The Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is certainly the most visually striking piece of architecture on the list. Home to four Melbourne teams across football and rugby, the unique geodesic design allows light to filter through to the pitch whilst covering the spectators. In a similar fashion to the Allianz Arena, the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium is also kitted out with thousands of LED lights on its exterior, giving it the ability to perform ‘light shows.’ Prominent artists have worked with stadium engineers to create specific sequences for different events.

    Forest Green Rovers - New Lawn

    While we appear to be slacking when it comes to energy saving compared to our neighbours across the pond, some teams are still taking a stand. Conference Premier side Forest Green Rovers became the first in the UK to play on an organic football pitch. They believe the higher cost of organic materials is off-set by the savings made from the long-term benefits to the soil. Not content with just that illustrious title, the club has also installed 170 photovoltaic panels and a solar-powered autonomous lawnmower.

    From harnessing solar energy to maximum effect to making use of more efficient lighting fixtures, it is obvious that many sports teams are keen to be more energy efficient. Often blamed for their excessive waste of energy, it is pleasing to see sports teams taking steps to rectify this issue.

  • Grundfos Are Lead Supplier to Water Treatment Plant

    Impressive news coming out of Grundfos: they are now lead supplier for the Austrian based Aqua Engineering water treatment plant - further proof of their excellence as a supplier of pump technology.

    Top 5 Home Booster Pumps on the market

    Based in the town of Monsee, Aqua Engineering GmbH are a global water treatment brand – providing solutions in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

    As a subsidiary of BWT (Best Water Technology); Europe’s industry leader in water treatment, they boast a yearly turnover of approximately 350 million euros and have a workforce of over 2500 people. They are specialised in providing wastewater treatment, seawater purification, industrial water supplies and clean drinking water.

    Aqua Engineering recently undertook a project in the Bay-Gan Island of Taiwan whereby 560,000 litres of seawater would be needed to purified per day. Grundfos pumps played a crucial role in the treatment process and the pumping of water in the systems – they supplied a range of pumps to properly deal with their needs. Booster units, service pumps and feed pumps were all supplied as well as a selection of dosing pumps that were each given a specific chemical/additive to filter within the water.

    These highly advanced Grundfos dosing pumps were comprised of two types: DMS and DME. The DMS pumps types are mechanically operating dosing pumps that are fitted with an intelligent motor that can vary the stroke frequency based on demand. The DME pumps are able to offer a more modern form of digital dosing, removing any problems with operational/setting difficulties. The diaphragm possesses the ability to be totally controlled every cycle through it being screwed into a crankshaft. It also boasts the operational range of In turning to Grundfos pumps for their all-in-one solution, Aqua Engineering has simplified their pumping system oper. Their high quality, highly efficient pumps speak for themselves and greatly reduce the time needed for staff training.

    Here at Pump Sales Direct, we are delighted to be official UK stockists of Grundfos pumps -  boasting a huge range of pump solutions for the domestic, commercial and industrial sector.

  • How much water do you use in a shower?

    World Water Day is fast approaching on the 22nd March, and there is no better time to review how much water you use in the shower. Whether your shower is nothing more than a 30 second, Formula 1 pit stop, or the half an hour highlight of your day, it is essential that you have the right shower pump to maximise the efficiency of this experience. World Water Day is a global effort to tackle water conservation and installing the correct shower pump is just one of many steps you can take to play your part. shower head

    How much water do you use?

    The average person in the UK uses approximately 62 litres of water in a single 8 minute shower. Of course, this is dependent on an array of factors. From the flow rate of your shower to whether you use a gas or electric hot water heater to the temperature of the shower itself.

    How much does it cost to run a shower?

    Similarly, the cost of running a shower is also dependent on a variety of factors. In general however, for the average person in the UK, an 8 minute shower costs approximately 25 pence. Over the course of a year, the average UK family spends approximately £416 showering.

    Tips for saving water in the shower

    In light of the UN’s sustainable development goal of halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing water recycling and safe reuse, these tips are the essential guide to doing your bit for the planet:


    • Have a Navy/combat shower


    Named after the supposed proficiency of US armed forces, a navy or combat shower is where you turn off the shower whilst you apply shampoo and soap, and then resume the shower when you are ready to rinse. Ruthless military efficiency does in fact reduce the amount of water used and money spent.


    • Collect the water you waste while the shower heats up


    While we wait in anticipation of the shower reaching our desired temperature, we are wasting litres of water. Collecting this usually wasted water and using it instead to, for example, water plants, is a simple exercise you can carry out to save water.


    • Don’t brush your teeth in the shower


    You may be a great multi-tasker but you are not great for the environment. Brushing your teeth or shaving in the shower whilst litres of water go to waste may be time saving but it is not energy or money-saving. A simple change like this can benefit the planet and your pocket.

    Ideally, this guide has given you some simple tips to help you save water, energy and money and has encouraged you to become an active participant in World Water Day.  

  • Water Conservation Tips For Businesses

    With World Water Day on 22nd March, there’s no better time to consider the ways that your business can save water, and help tackle the water crisis in doing so. From educating your employees on water-use, to investing in fixtures such as a Grundfos booster pump, here are some helpful tips to help you start conserving water.

    Shower Pump Water Pressure

    Invest in quality products

    When water pressure is low more water is often used in order to reach a steady level, often resulting in higher bills. Water booster pumps ensure that a consistent and reliable level of pressure is reached, meaning less waste and lower bills!

    Measure your water use

    Conducting a facility audit to can be really beneficial in understanding just how much your business is using. It can also serve as a starting point for tracking water use and identify any savings opportunities. Another way you can measure water usage is by comparing the water use of your business to industry benchmarks, which can provide an estimation of the average water use for specific industries. This way you can evaluate whether your business is using more water than normal, and can help push you to resolve the problem.


    Educate your employees about water conservation

    Letting your employees know about your conservation aims can really help to cut down on water usage. Create a workplace culture that’s dedicated to being as ‘green’ as possible, and encourage your employees to check that check taps are off and not to leave the water running unnecessarily. You’d be surprised how much these little elements can contribute to your water use, and make a difference in the long run.

    Check faucets and pipes for leaks

    It goes without saying that a leaky tap can really add to your level of waste, not to mention your bill. Water leaks can often be hard to detect, but if your business has a water meter you can use this to detect any issues.

    You must first ensure all water is turned off inside and outside the building, then record the reading on the meter whilst water is not in use. Wait 15 minutes and record it a second time - if the meter shows any movement it could be due to a leak and you should investigate the issue further.

  • Pump Sales Direct: Best Sellers

    Here at Pump Sales Direct, we are proud to offer our customers a range of quality pumps for every sector; be it domestic, commercial or even industrial scale. Here’s a look at some of our best-sellers:What you need to know before buying a sump pump                                                                         

    ABS Robusta 200 W/TS manual/automatic submersible pump, 230v

    Price: £119.99

    This 230-volt pump is our most popular piece in our range of submersible pumps that we offer – it also includes a built-in selectable float switch. This pump is perfect for removing waste water from your home or garden and possesses a check valve as well as built-in level control. As well as  including an auto switch, allowing it to be used both manually and automatically, it is encased in a vacuum-tight unit and is made from durable materials that resist corrosion, making it completely flood-proof and perfect for homes liable to flooding.

    Ebara Best One MS Auto, 230v

    Price: £144.00

    Another popular submersible pump that we stock, the Ebara Best One MS Auto can be utilised for the draining of water in wells, basements, tanks, or anywhere else that could be liable to flooding. They can also be used in the garden to supply the water to various kinds of water features. They are versatile and can therefore be used in both permanent and portable set-ups.

    Grundfos UPS2 25-80 (180)

    Price: £238.80

    Grundfos pumps are synonymous with quality, and the Grundfos UPS2 25-80 pump - with it’s fixed speed and proportional pressure controls - is ideal for commercial uses and heating systems that operate on one/two pipes.

    Stuart Turner Showermate Standard S1.8 Bar Twin Shower Pump

    Price: £157.20

    One of the favourite domestic pumps we offer; The Stuart Turner Showermate is great for boosting your showers performance.

    Salamander RHP75 2.2 Bar Twin Impeller Positive Head Centrifugal Shower Pump

    Price: £262.80

    This twin-ended pump by Salamander is fully capable of handling single or multi outlet use, making it deal for larger families who have come up against issues with using the taps and the shower simultaneously. It is also great for coping with the demands of multi-function showers too, for instance, if your showers provide champagne spray or a massage function.

    Stuart Turner Monsoon Standard 3.0 Bar Twin Shower Pump

    Price: £361.80

    If you are looking to boost the performance of your shower, then look no further than a Stuart Turner Monsoon pump. This domestic solution can do wonders to transform a weak shower into something you can actually enjoy climbing into.

    Salamander CT50 Xtra 1.5 Bar Twin Impeller Regenerative Positive Head Shower Pump

    Price: £110.40

    Salamander pumps are a quality brand to turn to when you’re in need of a power-boost for your shower. They are durable and simply fitted to offer a stress-free installation and minimal upkeep. 

    If you have any questions about what pump will suit your needs, don’t hesitate to request a callback from one of our experts.

  • Efficient pump technology contributes to world's greenest hotel

    Grundfos pumps contributes to world's greenest hotelPump Sales Direct are delighted that one of our most popular pump manufacturers, Grundfos have directly contributed to the what is considered the world’s most energy efficient hotel - The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers.

    State of the art solar panels

    This huge structure is quite the sight and this architectural feat has raised the bar with new standards for sustainability and efficient energy usage. Opened in 2009, this luxury hotel has been awarded a vast number of accolades for its innovative construction and design. The imposing black exterior is actually a collection of state-of-the-art solar panels which can contribute up to 50% of the hotels energy needs; weather depending of course.

    Low energy consumption levels with Grundfos pumps

    The real achievement, however, is the low energy consumption levels of this hotel's heating and cooling systems. Boasting one of the most cutting-edge Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) systems in the entire world, the energy this hotel actually consumes per year is miniscule, compared to other hotels without this energy saving innovation. This system is powered by Grundfos, who are industry leaders in energy efficient pump technology.

    ATES system

    Found in the basement of the hotel, the ATES system can generate up to 60% of the hotels total energy needs and can even supply cooling by utilising the groundwater beneath the foundations of the hotel. By utilising the groundwater to cool guest rooms, this essentially acts as a ‘free’ energy generating process that can cool water in the hotel’s air conditioning system. This can also be used to heat rooms as additional groundwater is collected in a well until needed. Both of these processes make use of what would usually be considered waste water and utilise every scrap of water resources given to it.

    Not only is this process better for the environment, it will also pay itself off within approximately six years of purchase due to saved money on energy bills. The Crowne Plaza will be far more profitable than its industry competitors in the long term. Jens Nørgaard, the application manager for Grundfos Commercial Building Services explained to us that “It is in the Grundfos DNA to invest now and reap the dividend later.” So the money spent on the process will actually be paid back within the next decade, and will continue to save them a considerable amount of capital in years to come. “It is substantial cheaper to transport heating and cooling via water than air.” Mr. Nørgaard confirmed.

    To put this information in perspective, the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers hotel’s estimated energy consumption is 51 kilowatt-hours per every square meter, which includes heating, air conditioning and ventilation. In comparison, the average four star hotel based in Europe will consume approximately 300 kilowatt-hours per square meter – almost six times the amount!

    Grundfos pumps are available to be used in a commercial, domestic or industrial setting. if you’re interested in reducing the energy usage in either your home or business, then you should look no further than a Grundfos manufactured pump for quality assured results.

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