Bringing boiling groundwater to the surface in The Hottest Place in the World


Grundfos brings 82ºC groundwater to the surface at The Gateway to Hell

For the last 9 months, Grundfos has been able to assist The Defence Construction Enterprise in Erta Ale, Ethiopia, with pumps that have been pumping 82ºC water out of the ground, near Erkane, an active volcano in Ethiopia.

The client, Defence Construction Enterprise, requested assistance with getting groundwater to the surface, in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. Previous attempts at solutions did not to bring the 82ºC water to the surface for use in their project.

This specific water intensive project is located close to Erta Ale, a continuously active basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia. It is situated in the Afar Depression, a bad land desert area. Erta Ale is the most active volcano in Ethiopia, and despite the fact, has seen an increase in tourist activity in recent years.

Known locally as "the gateway to Hell", it is notable for holding the longest-existing lava lake, present since 1906. Volcanoes with lava lakes are very rare - there are only eight in the world.

With actively boiling ground water in the area heated by the active basaltic volcano, it makes the water difficult to extract for use above ground. With the use of Grundfos pumps and control panels with temperature sensors, Grundfos has made it possible for the Defence Construction Enterprise in Ethiopia to use the boiling water in their roads project.

The roads project required an extensive amount of water as it is constructed out of concrete asphalt. Concrete generally requires a lot more water for preparation and suitable use, in comparison to typically used asphalt. Water was needed from a borehole with a 430m depth which would, after the project has been completed, be handed over to the community.

Water quality and temperature regulation was of utmost importance to the client, who was extremely satisfied at the result of the solution proposed.

Grundfos has presented the client with N version Pumps, temperature sensors, a special motor and controls. This has managed to provide the 5LPS boiling water for the project that was needed. The first phase of the project covered two boreholes, and to more boreholes are being tended to currently.

Not only have Grundfos pumps, and a solution tailor made for the client's needs, managed to assist the client's project in an accessible timeframe, but it has also given the community a source of water a little peace of mind, made possible by pumps.