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Field Smart Technology Leads Life-Saving Efforts in Liege

Not since the flooding of 1926 had Liege experienced this kind of torrential rain.

In July, 2021, two months’ worth of rain fell in a single week across Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Embodying the core values at Xylem – specifically, solving water – the Xylem team responded immediately to support disaster relief in the communities around Liege, Belgium. Godwin Smart Series dewatering pumps with Field Smart Technology software were essential in this effort by enabling real-time remote monitoring and control in these dangerous and extreme environmental conditions.

On Wednesday, 14 July, regional leadership declared states of emergency as dikes along the Meuse river began breaching. Aided by the Belgian army, the entire city of Liege was evacuated. By Friday, the Meuse had burst its banks, leading to widespread destruction and devastation, which impacted businesses - and most importantly - human lives.

Team Xylem was amongst the first to arrive on the scene, rapidly deploying multiple high-capacity Godwin pumps, generators, and engineers to the scene. Continuing to work around the clock, the team focused on dewatering key roads and tunnels.

“The safety of the people of Liege was priority number one,”

said Xylem engineer Adam Drakeley. “Sewage drains were overflowing, rendering the city of Liege uninhabitable. We worked tirelessly to clear backed-up storm drains and unclog sewers. Knowing the townspeople were anxious to return to their homes motivated us to expedite dewatering to ensure reliability and peace of mind for all affected by this colossal
tragedy.”

Like the water, the situation on the ground was fast moving and often unpredictable. Xylem’s portable Godwin diesel pumps were deployed at numerous locations across Liege. Xylem’s Field Smart Technology enabled our engineers to undertake real-time tracking of the multiple pumps.

As the volume of water became increasingly insurmountable, Field Smart Technology’s geo-tracking enabled Xylem engineers to easily identify additional Godwin diesel pumps in neighbouring branches and countries that could be redeployed to support the disaster
efforts along the Meuse. Having no time to establish floats or sump sensors, Xylem engineers accessed the remote control capabilities of Field Smart Technology to consistently and accurately operate pumps overnight. Utilising real-time suction pressure readings, Xylem engineers could successfully predict when pumps were reaching low water levels, at which point, the software remotely stopped the equipment in order to conserve fuel. Field Smart Technology provided safe remote control in this dire situation. Alarm management – the most important and utilised functionality of Field Smart Technology - was employed for automatic notifications, alerting local authorities where pumps were no longer removing water, freeing that equipment to be positioned where needed.

Xylem engineers relied on the remote monitoring and control capabilities offered by Field Smart Technology to check fuel levels and maintain engine health, as well as to ensure each pump was operating to optimize their performance.

“Field Smart Technology has proven to be a ‘game-changer’ in critical environments and emergencies”

“Since its launch, Field Smart Technology has proven to be a ‘game-changer’ in terms of remote monitoring and control. In critical environments and emergencies, safety is
imperative. I imagine the outcome could have been quite different without our software,” said Simon Mathias, Global Product Manager, Field Smart Technology

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