Emergency Dewatering for Flood Relief in Memphis


Sixteen inches of rain fell on the city of Memphis, Tennessee, in just six days in the spring of 2016, with half of that rainfall falling during a two-day deluge. This unprecedented severe weather event eroded the soil supporting a 96-inch sanitary sewer main that carried wastewater to one of the city’s central treatment plants.

City of Memphis officials immediately activated their Emergency Response Plan, bringing Xylem on board to design and develop a turnkey bypass solution to prevent a potential disruption in sewer services, minimize the environmental impact and ensure regulatory compliance while the main line was repaired.

Xylem designed and built a major emergency sewer bypass in Memphis in just six days.

A team of nearly 200 people including Xylem engineers and Field Service Personnel, Memphis Public Works and contractors worked in tandem to accelerate the project timeline, completing the entire turnkey bypass operation in record time.

“The project as a whole was amazing,” said Mike Leonard, Xylem’s Branch Manager. “Everybody worked together, working 16- to 18-hour shifts. It was a total job put together, from the city to the contractors to Xylem, and it just worked as a whole. Everyone jumped right in to help – to help Memphis.”

“Xylem provided us with the expertise and efficiency we needed in this emergency situation,” said Paul Patterson, Environmental Engineering Administrator for the City of Memphis. “This allowed us to focus our efforts entirely on design and construction and getting the pipe replaced. And that was key.”

Read More about Memphis Turnkey Solution

Read the Case Study in Underground Construction

Get help from Xylem on a Contingency plan