Historic project linking Rome and Vatican city uses Xylem technology and local knowledge to keep water flowing

Water technology is helping an urban regeneration project to connect Rome and the Vatican city for the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee. The extension will be completed as the city of Rome prepares to welcome 35 million visitors for the Jubilee, a special year of grace in the Catholic Church.

The historic project will extend the Lungotevere in Sassia underpass to enable the creation of a new pedestrianised zone that connects Castel Sant’Angelo with St Peter Square (Image: Unsplash)

The €79m project is being undertaken by ANAS, the Italian national road and highway authority responsible for the management, maintenance, and improvement of Italy’s road network. The project forms part of a €1.8bn investment, funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), to support sustainable tourism and urban regeneration.

To support the project, Xylem provided technology that diverted two major sewer collectors using a custom hydraulic bypass, a solution that redirects wastewater. Capable of moving 10m3 of water per second — the equivalent of filling an Olympic-sized swimming pool in 4mins — the solution met the project’s need to quickly move vast quantities of water. This enabled the continued collection of sewage and stormwater as the road system was relocated underground. The project will also facilitate the enlargement of the system to serve the new urban layout.

“This project required a combination of our local team’s expertise with our technology to deliver water security for residents with minimum disruption,” said Giorgio Sabbatini, Xylem vice-president of Europe commercial teams, south and west, and applied water systems. “For Xylem, it is a privilege to be part of this historic transformation.”

Works on the underpass project began in September 2023 and are due to be completed in March 2024. Xylem’s solution involved 9 Flygt 3501 electric pumps, two Flygt 3315 electric pumps, generators, pipes, and the Aquaview digital telemetry system that enables remote management.