Flood Event Prompts Portable Back-Up Pump Solution for Potable Water Network

Sept. 14, 2020

Xylem works with local distributor Central Service and Supply to design engineered-to-order solution.

The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) provides quality drinking water to the residents and communities of southwest Iowa. Included in its 4,000 miles of pipeline is a 16-mile, 12-inch line that runs from the city of Creston to Corning. Since gravity alone can’t feed water the entire distance between the two cities, a pump station maintains pressure in that line. A second pump station is used to pump water through a 16-inch line to counties south of Creston.

Flooding was an ongoing issue at the second pump station, but when a storm event several years ago shut down both pump stations – causing authorities to scramble to move water to their customers in the greater Creston and Corning areas – it brought the issue to a head.

Following this event, SIRWA began exploring options to minimize the impact of another flooding event and ensure it was better prepared for emergencies in the future. In addition to its focus on the two specific pump stations, SIRWA turned its attention to pump stations across their network. Implementing permanent and redundant back-up pump systems at each of their 40-plus pump stations was not in the budget, SIRWA developed an effective and more economical solution: two portable pumps with very specific and customized requirements:

• Portability via a trailer equipped with hoses, tool box, spare tire and night work lights that would enable SIRWA to operate and maintain the pumps

• Pumping capacity of 900 gallons per minute (GPM) of flow and 240-feet of total dynamic head (TDH)

• Ability to run dry

• National Safety Foundation (NSF)-61 certification

• Increased run time (fuel capacity)

• Ability to integrate with SIRWA supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) network

• Self-contained power source

• Made in America


Once SIRWA solidified the specifications, it put the project out to bid. The winner was Central Service and Supply (CSS). CSS is a long-time pump and industrial equipment provider for SIRWA and a member of the Xylem distributor network.

“It was great to have Central Service and Supply handling this project for us,” says Dan McIntosh, General Manager at SIRWA in Creston, Iowa. “We have worked with them on a number of projects in the past, so their knowledge of our business was key for us to be able to get the solution we needed.”

CSS, working in conjunction with the Xylem team, designed a customized engineered-to-order solution for SIRWA. The CSS and Xylem team chose two Godwin diesel-drivenHL125 Dri-Prime pumps to address the run-dry requirements as well as the GPM and TDH specifications. The pumps were equipped with 375-gallon fuel tanks, more than twice the size of a standard tank, allowing the pumps to run upwards of 70-80 hours at full load on one tank of diesel should there be a long-term power outage event.

The solution was customized to meet NSF-61 certification requirements for food and potable water. A number of pump components were treated with a certified NSF-61 coating and the pumps were connected to the SIRWA network with 6-inch food-grade hoses approved by the NSF. Additional safety customization included work lights and roadside hazard lights to support night and emergency work.

In addition, Xylem engineers reconfigured pump components to meet the “Made in America” specifications outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), of 2009.

To make the pumps portable, they were each installed on customized trailers – large enough to carry the pump and accessories, including a toolbox, spare tire, night work lights and an 8-kilowatt (kW) generator for auxiliary power and to run any power tools. Each pump trailer was outfitted with a hose rack and 100 feet of the NSFapproved 6-inch hose. In addition, the trailers were equipped with a gooseneck hitch, to accommodate easy connections with the trucks that would be called on to tow the pumps when and wherever they were needed within SIRWA’s coverage area.

The CSS and Xylem team recommended that the trailer also carry a Godwin Advanced PrimeGuard Controller, powered by the pump battery that would allow the pump to tie into SIRWA’s SCADA system. The controller allowed SIRWA to monitor and control pump activity remotely, and could plug into the SCADA system via Modbus at any pump station across the SIRWA network.


CSS and Xylem worked closely with SIRWA to design and develop a portable, customized solution that provided back-up pumps for emergency situations, without having the expense of retrofitting their entire network with back-up redundancy.

“Central Service and Supply, together with the pump experts at Xylem, were able to address every one of our requirements,” says SIRWA’s McIntosh. “From the Made in America and NSF-61 pump customizations to the comprehensive package – ready-to-go and portable on a heavy duty trailer – they delivered a great solution. The portable pumps we now have in place bought us some time to explore more permanent back-up pump solutions across our network. And that’s a huge relief.”

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.

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