Xylem salute to Whaley Bridge flood emergency team
20 Aug 2019
Xylem UK chief Jason Howlett has congratulated his staff for their part in helping to prevent the collapse of the Toddbrook Reservoir dam wall that threatened recently to flood the nearby town of Whaley Bridge.
The pumps company was working with main contractor Keir and SLD Construction on behalf of the Canal and River Trust, to avert a potential disaster that had led to 1,500 people being left temporarily homeless.
Xylem UK and Ireland MD Howlett commented: “I am very proud of our team that supported Kier and its supply chain and undertook gruelling work in a high pressure situation. It was a great relief to see their efforts rewarded with a rapid drain of water to secure the dam wall and ensure the safety of local residents.”
At times the site was chaotic, but everyone worked together, remained calm, kept everything safe and focused on getting the job done
Steve Simmons, North West area service manager, Xylem
The team, led by Xylem North West area service manager Steve Simmons, employed five 55Kw 2250 Flygt submersible dewatering pumps and also set up six large diesel and many smaller pumps to assist the project. They then used aeration units and two 150ml diesel pumps equipped with spray bars to oxygenate the water and ensure the surivival of fish as reservoir levels dropped.
“This was a massive coordinated operation involving hundreds of emergency services workers and subcontractors. My team was working on the dam wall side of the reservoir, which presented some unique challenges, including a very narrow access road,” described Simmons.
“At times the site was chaotic, but everyone worked together, remained calm, kept everything safe and focused on getting the job done.”
The effort was not all one way acknowledged Howlett, who paid tribute to the hospitality of town residents.
“We are extremely grateful to the Whaley Bridge community for looking after the crews and providing sandwiches and refreshments to keep them going," he added.
Photo: (l to r) Service engineer/driver Simon Flevill and supervisor Ian Turner with diesel pumps draining water out of Toddbrook.