Historic project linking Rome and Vatican City uses advanced technology to keep water flowing

Historic project linking Rome and Vatican City uses advanced technology to keep water flowing

Relocation of major sewer infrastructure enables construction of pedestrian link for 35 million visitors to the 2025 Jubilee.

Water technology is playing a crucial role in an urban regeneration project to connect Rome and the Vatican City for the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee. The historic project will extend the Lungotevere in Sassia underpass to enable the creation of a new pedestrianized zone that connects Castel Sant’Angelo with St. Peter’s Square. The extension will be completed as the City of Rome prepares to welcome 35 million visitors for the Jubilee – a special year of grace in the Catholic Church.

The €79 million ($85.8 million USD) project is being undertaken by ANAS, the Italian National Road and Highway Authority responsible for the management, maintenance and improvement of Italy’s road network. The project forms part of a €1.8 billion ($1.9 billion USD) investment, funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), to support sustainable tourism and urban regeneration.

To support the project, Xylem provided advanced technology that diverted two major sewer collectors using a custom hydraulic bypass, a solution that redirects wastewater.

Capable of moving 10 cubic meters of water per second – the equivalent of filling an Olympic-sized swimming pool in four minutes – the solution met the project’s need to quickly move vast quantities of water.

This enabled the continued collection of sewage and stormwater as the road system was relocated underground. The project will also facilitate the enlargement of the system to serve the new urban layout.

“This project required a bespoke combination of our local team’s expertise with our industry-leading technology to deliver water security for residents with minimum disruption,” said Giorgio Sabbatini, Vice President Europe Commercial Teams, South & West, & Applied Water Systems EU, of Xylem. “For Xylem, it is a privilege to participate in such a remarkable urban redevelopment project and be part of this historic transformation.”

Works on the underpass project began in September 2023 and are due to be completed in March 2024. Xylem's solution involved nine Flygt 3501 electric pumps, two Flygt 3315 electric pumps, generators, pipes and the Aquaview digital telemetry system that enables remote management.

Learn more about Xylem’s sewer bypass solutions.