A storm water solution designed by Xylem has prevented seven major potential floods in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur since 2007, according to KoonSing Low, Director of Storm Water Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) with the Malaysian government. Xylem designed the SMART system to manage a notorious flash flooding problem in Kuala Lumpur’s central business district.

The $600 million SMART project was commissioned in 2004 by the Malaysian government as a solution to control storm water, and was put into operation in 2007. Located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers, the area around Kuala Lumpur is prone to serious flooding. Continuous urban development has placed pressure on the city’s drainage system to cope with flash floods. Between 2000 and 2003 the city experienced devastating floodwater damage.

The first of its kind in the world, the SMART system incorporates a tunnel which diverts storm water before it enters the city center and acts as a double-decker motorway link during drier periods relieving traffic congestion on the city’s main highways. The 9.7 km long tunnel can hold up to 1,000,000 m3 of water which is released into the river downstream from the city to prevent flooding. Since its installation, the solution has controlled seven flood waters preventing serious damage to the city.

The system incorporates a holding basin with a floodwater storage capacity of 600,000 m3, a reservoir with a capacity of 1.4 million cubic meters and the bypass tunnel. Twenty-three pump stations are equipped with high-tech pumping solutions including 76 of Xylem’s Flygt-brand pumps, capable of dewatering all floodwater in the tunnel within 24 hours. The system also incorporates a control center for managing, operating and maintaining the SMART system.