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Providing Pumps and Real-Time Data During Hurricane Sandy

Sandy, a hurricane of historic proportions, delivered massive flooding and power outages. During and after the storm, Xylem instruments delivered invaluable information and our pumps moved water out of huge structures and small homes.

The devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on New York City and the northeast U.S. surprised some people – but thankfully the people at Xylem were not among them. They knew that time is critical in the aftermath of such huge storms, whether it means pumping out someone’s basement or something much larger.

Grant Salstrom, managing director of Xylem’s Godwin dewatering business, and his entire team spent the days leading up to the hurricane gathering hundreds of powerful Godwin brand dewatering pumps from all across the country and stockpiling them in Xylembranch locations and distribution sites near the hurricane’s projected path.

As this “super storm” raged across the region from October 29 and 30, causing massive flooding and power outages, hundreds of Godwin Dri-Prime and hydraulic submersible pumps were deployed to customers who needed to move massive amounts of water without any available electricity. Distributors of Xylem’s Flygt-brand submersible pumps prepared to help customers, as well.

Xylem’s dewatering pumps are made for various applications, including large-scale emergency and on-the-move projects. They are portable, capable of moving lots of water quickly and can be rented or purchased as required. In addition, they feature the breakthrough Godwin Dri-Prime capability that provides automatic self-priming so operators don’t have to fill the pumps with water manually.

From the World Trade Center site in New York City to numerous wastewater treatment plants and other flooded locations throughout the Northeast, customers are using the pumps to minimize – or eliminate – flood damage at their operations.

“Our goal is to get people back to normal as quickly as possible,” Salstrom said. “We already have 200 pumps in place in the storm impact zone just one day after the storm, with more on the way. We have a lot of experience in storms like this, and we take a special pride in helping people quickly when they need it.”

Xylem also moved quickly to ensure that homeowners and small businesses have the pumps they need to recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Pump distributors throughout the Northeast were supplied with excess inventory of Bell & Gossett- and Goulds Water Technology-branded sump pumps that could be used – once power was restored – to remove flood waters from basements and other low-lying structures.

Where power won’t come on for days, customers can use our Evacuator Series of dewatering pumps, which run on DC batteries and are capable of moving anywhere from 2000 to 8000 gallons of water per hour depending on the model. Xylem plans to donate a number of Evacuator units to the affected communities, focusing on specific locations where they can be best used.

Xylem has also launched a website with helpful information on how to recover from a flood at

“At Xylem, our goal is to solve water – and that’s especially important in emergency situations like this one,” says Ken Napolitano, president of Xylem’s Applied Water Systems business. “After Sandy slammed into the U.S., everyone with a flooded factory or wet basement was looking for solutions. Through the quick actions of our employees and our distribution network, plus an industry-leading dewatering product portfolio, we have been able to provide the right type of solutions for thousands of people.”


A Safer Way to Monitor Sandy

The damage from Sandy is still being calculated, but there’s no denying it would have been much worse without reliable readings of on-the-ground conditions that allowed responders to know where they were needed and what they were facing. At monitoring stations throughout the Northeast U.S., Xylem analytical instruments provided invaluable real-time data to national and state agencies.

Throughout the storm, our YSI sondes or multi-parameter probes monitored water level and water quality changes in key waterways and automatically transmitted the information in real time using our YSI EcoNet system. This automated system made it possible for the monitoring agencies to reliably track Sandy’s impact without putting crews in harm’s way.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, these instruments are helping water quality experts monitor the health of drinking water sources, fish habitats and other sensitive conservation areas that might have been impacted by the inflow of seawater and the release of oil, sewage, sediment and other pollutants.

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