David Flinton, Senior Vice President & President of Xylem’s dewatering business

The huge rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in northern Thailand was one of the news stories this year, capturing global attention — with many countries across the globe providing help.

Among those involved in the complicated rescue operation is Xylem. Two engineers from Xylem Thailand and Singapore were sent to the cave initially for an assessment and to make recommendations in improving the pumping powers. They were soon joined by engineering colleagues from the U.K. and the U.S..

In fact, at the time of this interview, David Flinton, senior vice president & president of Xylem’s dewatering business was receiving minutue-by- minute updates and arranging flights to have their equipment sent to Thailand from Europe and U.S..

“What they really need are smaller slimmer design products. I read that they have to take off their scuba tanks to get through some of those passages. And we’ve a line-up of slim line dewatering parts that’s about the size of a scuba tank that they can take into the cave,” said Flinton.

The success of the rescue mission brought great relief to the world and joy to the team who were pleased to lend their expertise to support this important international operation.


With the world turning to sustainability, dewatering has never been more important, especially in Southeast Asia.

“In Asia, the amount of rainfall and flooding events are going to increase by about 20 per cent over the next 30 years. Unfortunately, it’s kind of the new normal — these weather events are becoming more frequent and they are getting more challenging,” said Flinton.

Southeast Asia is the wettest region in the Asia Pacific — getting an average of about 1000mm rainfall annually. With the increasing amount of rainfall, the region is prone to flooding, hence, placing millions of lives at risk.

“And so, that’s why Xylem is really focusing on helping the customers and communities in the region to put in place more resilient technologies to support or mitigate the impact of severe weather,” said Flinton.

“We are investing significantly in developing technologies that are particularly focused around resilience: How to help customers and communities become more resilient when it comes to these natural disasters, flooding events and so forth,” he added.

An example is the unveiling of the new Godwin FP Dri-Prime Flood Protection Series at Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) from July 8-12.

The Godwin FP Dri-Prime Flood Protection Series


This latest innovation from Xylem’s renowned Godwin brand is the first set of high flow, portable pumps certified to handle the world’s toughest dewatering challenge: Flood protection. Specifically designed for the removal of destructive floodwaters, the Godwin FP Series is the first set of high flow, portable flood mitigation pumps to earn the seal of approval from FM Global, the largest private insurer of commercial and industrial properties in the world.

Flinton explained, “They [FM Global] have a very stringent certification process. They focus on loss prevention — not just insuring against it but how to prevent losses. They have a global team of engineers that develop very strict products standards too.”

“The Godwin FP Series has been tested to their rigorous standards down to the individual component level to make sure they operate properly in really harsh environments,” he added.

Cities across Asia, from Mumbai to Jakarta, are increasingly exposed to unpredictable weather patterns. Globally, FM Global report that annual losses due to flooding costs companies US$2-3 billion worldwide and this figure is expected to rise — endangering property, livelihoods and the environment. FM certified flood mitigation pumps have been rigorously tested for their ability to efficiently and reliably remove water.

The wide range of the Godwin FP Series — which includes the FP100, the FP150, the FP225, and the FP300 — enables rapid dewatering of any flood protection challenge. The portable Godwin Flood Protection Series offers optional Field Smart Technology — the first-in-industry telemetry and wireless technology that provides smart remote monitoring and control of the pump from any smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

The pumps available in the Godwin FP Dri- Prime Series also come equipped with the exclusive Godwin liquid bath mechanical seal to enable extended dry-running, helping to reduce overall maintenance costs. The powerful flood mitigation series is further strengthened by the portability of the pumps, allowing for rapid deployment in the most hazardous conditions during emergency situations.

“It’s beyond the price. It’s not just selling a piece of metal or renting a piece of metal. It’s really about helping the customers develop a complete solution that will mitigate the impact of floodwaters,” said Flinton.