Defy gravity, water and weather to keep New Orleans dry

Learn how Timken Power Systems helped the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Pump to the River project move up to nine inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

The challenge

With water to the north and south as well as the Mississippi River flowing directly through it, the New Orleans metropolitan area is particularly prone to flooding.

Near the river, stormwater had to pass through a seven-mile network of canals before being pumped into Lake Pontchartrain at the other end of town. The result was repeated flooding of waterfront neighborhoods due to slow drainage during heavy rains.

The US Army Corps of Engineers needed a one-of-a-kind system to pump water over a levee and into the Mississippi River. So they called Timken Power Systems.

The solution

The system ⎯ called the Harahan Pump to the River Project ⎯ required special attention to protect the integrity of the levee.

The Timken Power Systems team custom-designed three double-reduction right-angle gearboxes with redundant lubrication, monitoring, and instrumentation systems for added protection in the event of equipment failure. They also provided technical support during the extended start-up period.

The result

Today, the Pump to the River system can easily handle up to nine inches of rain in a 24-hour period. It has continued to operate successfully since Timken Power Systems helped bring the project to life in late 2017 ⎯ keeping New Orleans safe and dry.

Capable of handling up to nine inches of rain in a 24-hour period, the system has operated successfully since it was commissioned in late 2017.

Full support

The Pump to the River system is just one of many New Orleans-based projects that Timken Power Systems has engineered over the past 50 years. The team’s solutions can be found at most of the 240+ pump stations in the New Orleans metro area.

During Hurricane Katrina, pumps equipped with Timken Power Systems at Station 19 were the last to stop. Supplemented by portable pumps and power from generators, the pumps ran continuously completely underwater for three weeks. After the flooding ended, Timken Power Systems assisted station personnel with instructions for unit flushing and inspection, as well as a full restoration.

And at Elmwood Pump Station, one of the oldest and largest pump stations in the area, Timken Power Systems upgraded the gears, bearings and lubrications of eight units without changing the plan. original equipment, which saves investment and life cycle costs. With proper maintenance, units often operate for 50-60 years ⎯ providing peace of mind for decades to come.

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