Xylem celebrates 120 years of Flygt pump innovation

This year Xylem is celebrating the 120th anniversary of its market-leading Flygt brand, which has driven innovation across the water sector for more than a century. Since the early 1900’s, Flygt has built a strong legacy having continuously pushed the boundaries of what’s possible in water and wastewater management. 

Flygt solutions have reached every corner of the world, helping customers from Pennsylvania to Western Asia solve their most critical water issues. In 2019, Flygt solutions were integral to the development of the Beijing Daxing International Airport “Green City” project. As the largest single-structure terminal in the world, the airport required an efficient and reliable drainage system that could support resiliency and sustainability requirements.

To support fast and efficient drainage during instances of heavy rain, Xylem was selected to provide eight rain-water pump stations, including 34 sets of Flygt pumps. Installed during the construction of the airport, the reliability of the Flygt pumps proved integral to the effective operation of the drainage system. Flygt was the brand of choice as the pumps also had to be energy efficient to help meet the environmental impact goals of the entire airport project.

While Xylem’s Flygt brand has always been committed to developing innovative solutions that produce measurable operational benefits, the true measure of its success is the impact those solutions have had on communities worldwide. In 1959, more than 1.5 million people were impacted when Typhoon Vera struck Japan. The storm's intensity was deemed one of the worst on record and left the city of Nagoya submerged under water. 

To support disaster relief efforts, the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo procured a Flygt pump to help drain the city. Without delay, a 1,400 lb (650kg) pump was flown on the Scandinavian Airlines polar route from Sweden to Tokyo, and a successful dewatering operation commenced just two days later under the watchful eye of a team of Flygt engineers. 

In 1965, when a serious incident occurred during a tunnelling project in the city centre of Stockholm, two construction workers became trapped more than 130 foot (over almost 40 meters) below ground level. Flygt pumps were deployed to support the rescue mission, but despite hours of successful pumping to clear the tunnel of water, large volumes of sand in the tunnel’s shaft began to impact the rescue mission. 

In order to reach the trapped workers, the sand needed to be removed. The only solution was to return the water to the tunnel and mix the sand to create a sludge that could be pumped out. With no other option, the water was returned and Flygt pumps were deployed to remove the sludge. After three days and more than 2.5 million gallons (nearly 9.5 million liters) of sludge water removed, the construction workers were successfully rescued. 

From aiding rescue missions, to supporting some of the world’s most impressive infrastructure projects, Flygt’s past achievements have paved the way for its success of today and its continuous innovation. Today, Flygt customers have access to a complete range of products and solutions for moving water and wastewater, as well as advanced monitoring and control equipment to optimize performance and energy efficiency. 

Commenting on the milestone, Jonas Romfelt, Director of Product Development, Transport, at Xylem said, “We are incredibly proud to reach this milestone and acknowledge the impact Flygt has had on countless communities. From aiding disaster relief efforts to supporting complex infrastructure projects, our solutions have helped solve water around the world. We look forward to continuing our work in driving innovation and developing sustainable solutions that can make a difference.”