OUR SOLUTIONS FOR GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT
The beginnings of groundwater control in mines are known from historical accounts dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries. In those days water infiltration into shafts was removed by hand. Pots, cans or leather buckets filled with water were passed along in a human chain by labourers using ladders or carriages. These procedures could keep mines dry at depths of up to 20 to 30 m. Later on, the first water raising machines were developed which were able to convey water upwards to heights of up to 45 m. They were succeeded by mechanical pumps providing controlled dewatering of shafts more than 500 m deep.
Over the centuries, the impact of such measures on groundwater tables in coal mining regions has created a need for sophisticated groundwater management to regulate aquifer levels. One example is Germany's Ruhr district, 20 % of which is presently located below the natural groundwater table. A total of 180 pumps run day and night there, removing more than a billion m³ of water each year to keep the region above water.
Today, water management systems play an indispensable role in mining activities. They serve two main purposes: they regulate the groundwater level and provide water required in process operations. Water treatment plays an ever-more important part here. Water leaving mine sites (e.g. gold mines), if not properly treated, can pose serious environmental risks at discharge points and in surrounding municipalities. Proper treatment cleans the effluent, permitting reuse e.g. as mining process water. This is a big advantage in the light of the large quantities of preparation and process water required in gold mining operations. Water consumption rates on the order of 160 m³ per hour are by no means out of the ordinary in gold mines.
The Carl Hamm organisation was founded in the year 1929 in Essen / Germany. Following the Second World War, the company established itself as a specialised supplier for the mining industry, fabricating high-quality steel piping for gas, air and water supply systems. As the years went on, their market focus expanded to include water management systems for mining applications. Today Carl Hamm supplies piping, components and pipelines for mining operations worldwide. A key innovation introduced by Carl Hamm in the mid-1990's was the ZSM connection, a restrained socket joint with outstanding tensile strength. Originally developed for use in pumping lines in anthracite (hard coal) mining fields, ZSM connections are used to realise freely suspended pipelines in lengths of over 1000 m and diameters up to DN 500. Carl Hamm offers an extensive portfolio of other products including high-pressure piping, flanged and grooved pipes as well as compressed air pipes. The products are accompanied by a broad range of technical support services – pump sizing, pipe dimensioning and many others – for customers in the mining industry.
Groundwater management not only plays a key part in mining operations, it is equally important in building construction. Underground parking garages and foundations are examples of structures requiring excavation and construction work below groundwater level. The groundwater table at the site must be drawn down accordingly for the duration of the work. This is done using vacuum pumps which drain the water into wellpoint systems and from there to larger-diameter collection lines for removal.
Carl Hamm provides a wide range of pipes and associated products for dewatering systems. The portfolio offered includes Perrot pipe sections with high-quality quick couplings for low-pressure water transport as well as grooved pipes and accessories for large diameters and high line pressures. Included in our product range are plug valves and non-return valves as well as custom designs (e.g. transition pieces for connection of Perrot coupling onto grooved pipe) made to your specifications.