Foss Barrier – High profile engineering flood defence in York


Built in 1987, in response to severe flooding five years earlier, the Foss Barrier forms an important part of the flood defences of York. It functions with a gate that can be closed to prevent rising waters in the River Ouse from backing up into the River Foss and flooding parts of the city.

In December 2015 floods hit York once again. With waters rising into the electrical switch room for the incoming mains supply, the gate was rendered inoperable which therefore increased the flood risk to properties and the community.


After significant involvement in the emergency response to the floods, we were then engaged by the Environment Agency to deliver permanent upgrade works on the site. Our JBA Bentley team delivered the project.

JBA-Bentley is a joint venture between JN Bentley and Jeremy Benn Associates (JBA), bringing together the specialist skills and expertise of the two firms: JN Bentley as a civil engineering contractor, and JBA as a water and environmental consultant and designer.

At the core of the Foss Barrier works is an upgrade to the Foss Barrier Pumping Station. Here we are increasing the capacity of the pumping station through the installation of eight new pumps and associated MEICA equipment. Each pump weighs 6.5 tonnes and is capable of pumping 6m³/second.


The upgraded equipment will be housed within an extension to the existing building that will lift all critical equipment above the flood zone. To facilitate this, all equipment has been temporarily located on a purpose-built platform.

Want to know more?

Take a look at our engineering web pages which outline the varying work we can assist you with including geotechnical, rail engineering and flood defence design.

Alternatively, you can contact Tony Moran, Technical Director at JBA Bentley, for more details on this specific project. You can also read more about this project on the UK Water Projects website.

     JBA Bentley Foss Barrier Pump

Leave a Reply