Millions of pounds will be spent on a classic engineering solution to fix flooding in the UK.

Six huge Archimedes’ screws will be set up to displace flood water around the Yorkshire area, each will weigh an incredible 55 tonnes, measuring 3.75 metres in diameter and over 20 metres long.

Archimedes’ screws were first devised by the Greek inventor in the 3rd century BC; they were used to pull bilge water out of the hulls of the largest ocean-going vessels of the day, for irrigation, aqueducts and other applications. 

The six storm water screws will be considerably larger than early versions from their eponymous inventor.

Each be driven by 560 kilowatt main drives, and should be able to lift four tonnes of water per second.

The combined power of the new Bransholme Surface Water Pumping Station’s screws will be able to remove water at a rate of about 1250 m3 per minute.

The ancient invention is still commonly used for water displacement purposes. The stunningly elegant design is one of the best for moving large volumes of liquid efficiently.

There are other real-world advantages too.

The large allowances of Archimedes’ screws mean that they can shift the solid debris in flood water without becoming choked, and the simplicity of the devices means they rarely break and are easy to maintain. They also can be run outside of water for easy dry testing.