The essential journalist news source
Xylem supports operation to make Whaley Bridge dam safe


              P R E S S  R E L E A S E

Ref: PRXY016                                                                   Date: 20 August 2019

Xylem supports operation to make Whaley Bridge dam safe

 high res image for download


A major disaster was narrowly averted in a well-coordinated operation to prevent the collapse of the dam wall at Toddbrook Reservoir in Whaley Bridge. Xylem Water Solutions UK provided pumps to drain the water and its rapid engineering response ensured a successful operation.

The wall of the reservoir dam was at serious risk of collapse after days of torrential rain led to what police called an "unprecedented, fast-moving, emergency situation".  Xylem worked with SLD Construction and Kier, the main contractor for the Canal and River Trust (CRT), which runs the site, to achieve a positive outcome.

The water technology company deployed five 55 Kw 2250 Flygt submersible dewatering pumps to draw water out of the reservoir at a rate of 250 litres per second. Within a week the water levels had been reduced by more than 10 metres and the town's 1,500 residents were allowed to return to their homes.

Steve Simmons, area service manager for the North West, who led the Xylem operation, said: "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.

"At times the site was chaotic, but everyone worked together, remained calm, kept everything safe and focused on getting the job done."

In total seven engineers from Xylem worked on site - often around the clock - from the beginning of the emergency on August 1. As well as installing the submersible pumps, the team set up six large diesel pumps and numerous smaller pumps. Then, as the water receded, they extended the cables and moved the pumps further into the reservoir basin. In addition, they provided aeration units and two 150ml diesel pumps with spray bars to help oxygenate the water so the resident fish could survive in the lower level of water.

Jason Howlett, managing director UK and Ireland, added: "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. We are extremely grateful to the Whaley Bridge community for looking after the crews and providing sandwiches and refreshments to keep them going."

- - - ENDS - - -

[403 words]

Caption: [name] [role] (left) and [name] [role] (right) with the diesel pumps draining water out of Toddbrook.

Editor's notes

Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world's water challenges. The Company's products and services move, treat, analyse, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The Company's more than 16,500 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York with 2017 revenue of $4.7 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.

The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all — that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit us at 


Media contact:

Sue Tupling

Changeworks Communications

T:  01785 247588


Company contact:

Xylem Water Solutions UK Ltd

Private Road No1,




T: 0115 940 0111



Follow us on LinkedIn:


Follow us on Twitter: