Unusual Design Protecting Ecosystems in Denmark, Western Australia




Denmark, located in Western Australia's stunning Great Southern region, is a popular holiday destination offering some of the state's most dramatic coastlines and stunning forests. The area is often described as the ‘jewel’ in Western Australia's tourism crown, and is an integral part of the Great Southern Wine Region.

Denmark has a population of almost 3,000 but that can increase substantially during the tourist season, placing unprecedented demands on the town’s infrastructure. The Water Corporation of Western Australia’s water treatment plant in Denmark, is responsible for supplying clean, potable water to the town all year round.

In 2015, the plant was experiencing problems drawing water from the lake next to the plant, as the only options were to draw it from the bottom of the lake, or from the surface of the lake. This resulted in a high level of sediment in the incoming water or, conversely, high amounts of floating debris from the surface resulting in the requirement to regularly wash the inlet screen.

In addition, despite being screened, particles of debris would still pass through the pump, causing wear over long periods of operation.



Working in conjunction with the Water Corporation of Western Australia, Grundfos Pumps took on the challenge of resolving the issue by suspending a Grundfos submersible pump (SP-N), under a pontoon on the lake. This meant that sediment and debris-free water could be drawn from just below the surface of the lake rather than from the surface or the bottom of the lake.

Grundfos SP submersible pumps are world renowned for their high efficiency and reliability. With state-of-the-art hydraulics, the SP range delivers high pressure and flows, and offers low operating costs and easy maintenance. To ensure a long life and effectively handle aggressive liquids, all SP-N models are made entirely of 316 stainless steel, for superior corrosion resistance.

The Water Corporation’s Great Southern Regional Manager, Mr Stuart Dyson, said that in addition to the benefits of debris-free water, the solution also allowed maximum water to be drawn from the lake in a short period of time.

Mr Dyson also commented on Grundfos’ commitment to ensure the project was a success saying “Grundfos accommodated unusual design requests, including an additional strainer to safeguard fish stocks, as well as off-road wheels to allow the pump to be transported up an embankment at the lake for installation and any servicing requirements”.

A Wellmaster rising main was used for the pump discharge, which floats on the lake surface by the use of marine floats. Stainless steel cables from either side of the raft were fixed to two points on the lake shore, to keep the raft in one place.



Having the SP-N pump suspended near the top of the waterline results in cleaner water draw off, no fluctuating static head and no sediment or debris, no matter how high or low the lake level. Importantly there is limited or very little damage to the lake’s ecosystem, particularly because of the ease of installation and extraction of the pump and raft.

In addition, the pump is able to draw maximum water from the lake in a short period of time, effectively handling the influx in population during the tourist season.

Mr Dyson says the pump system has continued to perform as expected and has helped the Water Corporation secure Denmark’s water supply for the future.


Drawing sediment and debris-free water by suspending a submersible pump (SP-N), under a pontoon


Denmark, Western Australia


Water Corporation of Western Australia

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