Flood protection at IFAT 2010 – Pumps to the rescue


"We have to avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable." This comment, which sums up very neatly just what the challenge is from climate change, comes from Professor Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber, one of Germany’s leading climate researchers and Director of the Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam.

The kind of events regarded as unavoidable include the predicted increase in the incidence of heavy rainfall in Germany and in other countries, and the more frequent flooding that this will bring.

Possible ways of adapting to this are by using building methods that are appropriate to floods, by creating retention areas for excess water and by strengthening existing flood-protection installations. Walls, dykes, sandbags, flood barrier systems, window closures, protective gates and sliding gates are measures that can be taken, but a key element in the technology of flood protection are pumps.

Many pump manufacturers have recognised what is happening and over recent years have adapted their portfolio of products to match. Wilo of Dortmund, for example, may not have a separate business division covering flood protection, but according to the company’s own information, it is gaining ever more international significance in the field, with clients from local authorities, industry and the field of building technology. For example, Wilo has equipped a paper mill in Saxony with ten mobile submersible motor-driven pumps to handle waste water. The mill is located in the flood plain near Zwickau, and it was completely inundated in the floods of 2002. The pumps from Wilo supplement the mobile sheet piling system acquired by the firm after those devastating floods.

One company supplying the fire and disaster-relief services in particular is Spechtenhauser Pumpen GmbH from Waal. In cooperation with these services this company has developed a specialty pump for use in flood situations. Spechtenhauser’s managing director, Jens Becker, outlines the key requirements: "Specialty pumps have to be mobile. This means optimising the weight and fitting them with an ergonomically designed carrying mechanism. Another key point is that it should not be prone to getting blocked. Also to be taken into account is the fact that the water it pumps generally contains large quantities of contaminants originating from roads and fields." His company has come up with a device that meets these requirements – the Chiemsee pump has an especially robust, patented impeller that keeps it free of blockages.

The above-mentioned manufacturers will be presenting their products and solutions next year at the environmental fair IFAT 2010 in Munich. "As a leading international trade fair in the environmental sector, we included the important theme of coastal protection and flood control in our nomenclature for the first time in 2008," explained Eugen Egetenmeir, a member of the Management Board of Messe München. "We are confident that our exhibitors at IFAT 2010 will be presenting a wide range of ways for managing the unavoidable."


In 2008 IFAT set a new record for attendance, with 2,605 exhibitors from 41 countries and around 120,000 trade visitors from 170 countries. IFAT 2010, the 16th International Trade Fair for Water – Sewage – Refuse – Recycling, takes place at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 13 to 17 September 2010. It is the world’s most important trade fair for innovations and new developments in the fields of water, sewage, refuse and recycling. The event offers an attractive exhibition programme featuring state-of-the-art technology and a broad range of professional services for water, sewage and refuse management.

Messe München International (MMI)

Messe München International (MMI) is one of the world’s leading trade-fair companies. It organises around 40 trade fairs for capital and consumer goods, and key high-tech industries. Each year over 30,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, and over two million visitors from more than 200 countries take part in the events in Munich. In addition, MMI organises trade fairs in Asia, Russia, the Middle East and South America. With six subsidiaries abroad – in Europe and in Asia – and with 66 foreign representatives serving 89 countries, MMI has a truly global network. Environmental protection and sustainability are key priorities in all MMI´s operations, at home and abroad.

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