28 December 2022

Step one is finished

Not only the windmills, but also the pumping stations were of great importance to keep the feet dry in Kinderdijk. In order to get the Wisboom pumping station, built in 1868, working again, a lot of work has been done since last May on the restoration of the foundation of this special pumping station. With the completion of this work, we are one step closer to a working Wisboom pumping

The Wisboom pumping station in Kinderdijk is an important part of the total drainage system. This nineteenth-century structure is the connecting link between the historic Kinderdijk windmills and the two modern pumping stations on the river dike, the J.U. Smit pumping station and the G.N. Kok pumping station. The Wisboom pumping station was in operation until 1996. It has been known for several years that the pumping station is ‘underwater’. Meaning, water was leaking under the foundation of the pumping station. This could have caused major damage to the structure in the long term, but has now been addressed.

Put dry

In order to be able to inspect the whole thing properly, the outflow side (the High Boezem side) of the pumping station has temporarily been put dry. After removing much of the accumulated mud from the watercourses and the pumps of the pumping station, the condition of all parts became more visible. These parts were not very visible during previous inspections. The extensive inspection showed that we could still do a lot of restoration work here, for example the non-return valves (they ensure that the water does not flow back) were in need of replacement. On the other hand, some other parts were better than expected, for example the concrete covering layer on the wooden watercourse floors was still completely intact.

Leaks repaired

Due to the running water, the wooden parts under the watercourse walls were completely worn out. We have filled the large holes that have arisen under the bridge deck with clay and replaced the sheeting. Sheet piles have also been placed in front of both watercourses to stop the groundwater. This means that the leakage has now been completely remedied and we have now completed this part of the project.

The Wisboom pumping station is back in full glory after completing the foundation repair.

The Wisboom pumping station is back in full glory after completing the foundation repair.

From steam to electricity

The pumping station was originally built as a steam pumping station in 1868 and was a good reinforcement of the capacity of the eight thatched windmills of the Overwaard. In 1924 the pumping station was made electrical and the four large paddle wheels were replaced by two centrifugal pumps. Now that the restoration of the foundation of the pumping station has been completed, the next component is on the schedule, namely the centrifugal pumps. The pumps that we are going to restore are from 1924, the building is still the steam pumping station from the nineteenth century.

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