Tacoma CTP Flood Protection Project

Automatic Floodgates Ease Flood Fear For Tacoma WWTP

Project Background:

in 2009, the Tacoma Wastewater Treatment Plant suffered a series of floods which resulted in over $10 million in damages to electrical equipment as well as allowing millions of gallons of untreated wastewater to flow into the Commencement Bay & Puyallup River.

To prevent future flood devastation, the city of Tacoma authorized a $25 million flood mitigation project to protect their wastewater treatment plant. FloodBreak was one of the many organizations that took part in the project, which involved the construction of a massive 2,500′ long x 8′ tall floodwall that protects the plant’s perimeter. 

Passive automatic flood barrier protects wastewater treatment plant
FloodBreak automatic floodgate protects treatment plant

FloodBreak’s Passive Flood Solution:

We installed three passive flood barriers range from 28′ to 32′ in length and 3′ to 6′ in height at different vehicle entryways to the wastewater facility.

FloodBreak’s passive automatic technology allows these barriers to deploy & protect without the need for human intervention or power. During a flood event, the barriers are activated by the floodwater itself. The higher the flood water rises, the higher our barriers are lifted. Learn how our passive flood barriers deploy.

When the flood water recedes, the barriers return to their stored underground position. This lets daily plant operations continue without disturbance or slowdown in productivity.

FloodBreak barriers are designed to support HS-25 loading and are unaffected by harsh outdoor conditions. All materials used in the fabrication of our gates are specified so that rust and intense outdoor exposure do not affect their efficacy. 

Tacoma CTP Wins Public Works Project Of The Year Award For Flood Protection Measures

In 2016, the Tacoma Central Wastewater Treatment Plant won the Public Works Project Of The Year Award in the Disaster & Emergency Preparedness category. The award recognizes “excellence in management and administration to successfully complete public works projects.” 

We at FloodBreak are very proud to have played a part in this award-winning effort to provide the highest quality flood protection to such an important wastewater facility. The Tacoma wastewater treatment plant treats between 30 million and 135 million gallons per day in order to provide safe water for the surrounding area. It is reported that 80% of the wastewater from Tacoma is treated at this single facility. 

This project is part of FloodBreak’s larger goal to provide permanent flood protection to critical infrastructure similar to this central treatment plant in Tacoma, WA. 

If you have any questions about the this project, please contact us below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact Us:

Email: info@floodbreak.com

Office: 713-980-6610

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    “It’s structural. It’s incredibly strong, but it lays in the ground. And it’s so simple. It just floats up.”

    The FloodBreak® Automatic Floodgate was recently featured in Business Insider.  The media platform interviewed FloodBreak President and Founder, Lou Waters, to discuss how the revolutionary technology protects communities from natural disasters without human intervention.

    The Business Insider feature ie entitled: How an automatic floodgate is helping communities against natural disasters

    • The FloodBreak passive automatic  floodgate can work in flash floods and areas that are unprepared for natural disasters.
    • It uses the hydrostatic pressure of the flood water, the gate does not need to be controlled or operated by people.

    FloodBreak floodgates were deployed during Hurricane Harvey in Houston saving numerous commercial buildings, hospitals and other assets. Read more.

    FloodBreak automatic gates have deployed in dozens of locations including Norfolk VA, Bloomsburg PA, Alexandria VA, Hillside NJ, Great Neck NY, Davenport IA, Solon OH, Dallas TX, Oklahoma City OK, Chicago IL and Houston TX.

    Read more about the revolutionary passive technology that deploys the self rising panel without human intervention or power.


    Slimline Gates protect against low level street flooding


    The FloodBreak® Slimline Vehicle Gate is designed for low level flooding where less than 2′ flood protection is desired.

    Originally designed for EDF to protect nuclear power plants in France, the Slimline model met the requirement for a fully passive automatic flood barrier that could support HS-25 vehicular loads, protection height under 2 feet, and a shallow installation footprint.  Like all FloodBreak passive automatic flood barriers, there is no length limitation due to the unique, modular design.  Gate heights of 25cm & 50cm are available.

    The ability to automatically protect against flash flooding without human intervention or mechanical assistance has made the Slimline flood barrier a popular design for driveways and below grade garages susceptible to street flooding.

    Just like the standard FloodBreak Automatic Floodgates that have been protecting customers for over a decade, the Slimline Vehicle Gate deploys automatically without human intervention or power. A Slimline Vehicle Gate installed in Houston after the Tax Day 2016 flood,  deployed to prevent floodwater from entering the below grade garage when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.

    Read more about FloodBreak automatic floodgates protecting customer assets during Hurricane Harvey.

    See more of what other flood protection solutions FloodBreak has to offer

    FloodBreak flood barriers deploy automatically in PA


    Three FloodBreak® passive automatic floodgates are part of an EDA infrastructure investment that helped protect major manufacturers in Bloomsburg PA.

    In September of 2011, Tropical Storm Lee caused catastrophic flooding in the Town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Almost a third of the community was underwater including two major employers who suffered heavy damage. After the 2011 event and following flooding in 2004, 2005 & 2006, local community leaders worked with EDA to obtain disaster recovery funding that was used to build a floodwall to protect vital business infrastructure. FloodBreak passive automatic floodgates were installed at 3 vehicle entrances in the floodwall. These closure devices remain open during dry times allow full access while providing 24/7 flood protection.

    During the August 13, 2018 flood event the FloodBreak barriers deployed automatically without human intervention or power to prevent flood inundation from river flooding. Read the EDA success story here.

    The automatic deployments are the latest in a long list of verified flood saves. A year ago, in August 2017, FloodBreak barriers protected over a dozen Houston area customers during the unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey. In fact FloodBreak flood barriers protected Houston customers during Tax Day 2016 and Memorial Day 2015 floods.

    FloodBreak has dozens of verified flood saves including some customers who have been protected multiple times.

    Notable was Lourdes Hospital, located on the Susequehanna River upstream from Bloomsburg, which was saved during the 20111 flood by ten (10) FloodBreak automatic flood gates installed in 2010.

    Saved Again. Houston Building Protected from Harvey Flooding


    After being inundated during the Memorial Day 2015 Flood, the property management team did not want to go through that again.

    They installed a FloodBreak passive automatic flood barrier to protect the loading dock and mechanical equipment at their Houston office building. Fortunately they did as 11 months later the Tax Day 2016 flood hit Houston and the automatic flood gate deployed without human intervention to prevent floodwaters from inundating the loading dock.  A year later when Harvey flooded Houston, not only their loading dock was protected but also their parking garage where they had added 5 more passive automatic floodgates.

    FloodBreak passive automatic flood barriers eliminate the need for human intervention.   The buoyant barrier is lifted by the flood water – no people, no power.

    Read about their success story in a  Houston Chronicle article.

    During non flood times, they gates allow full access to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

    3000 Post Oak was one of over a dozen locations protected during Harvey. Locations included the Houston Galleria, MD Anderson Cancer Center and numerous commercial office buildings and luxury apartments.

    An idea born in Tropical Storm Allison saves Houston businesses in Hurricane Harvey

    An Idea Born In Tropical Storm Allison saves Houston businesses in Hurricane Harvey

    Almost two decades ago, Houston endured an unprecedented flood disaster during Tropical Storm Allison.  At the time, Allison was the costliest flood disaster in US history. 

    Born of the challenges in protecting properties at the time of need, FloodBreak has become a worldwide success story in flood protection while continuing to deliver foolproof solutions to customers in the Houston area.  Hurricane Harvey yet again brought unprecedented flooding to Houston, but fortunately many customers were protected by FloodBreak’s passive automatic flood barrier systems.

    Customers across the Gulf Coast area, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Galleria, commercial office buildings and even a Houston homeowner saw their properties go undamaged even while neighbors were inundated by the floods.  Many of these customers don’t have resources at the ready to actively close their barriers or didn’t want to shut down access days in advance. They relied on their FloodBreak passive automatic gates to automatically deploy without human intervention or power to prevent inundation when floodwaters approached.  This allowed for full use of their properties in the run-up to the storm and immediately after the water cleared, while other FloodBreak customers deployed their barriers in advance as part of emergency preparedness to concentrate on other preparedness measures.

    Hurricane Harvey wasn’t the first time FloodBreak passive flood barriers deployed to protect customer locations. Two recent rain events in Houston, the 2016 Tax Day & the 2015 Memorial Day Floods, saw multiple customers protected when unexpected, overnight flash flooding caught facilities personnel off guard. Fortunately for them, their assets were protected when FloodBreak floodgates passively deployed to prevent flood inundation. In fact, FloodBreak automatic floodgates have saved customers in at least 13 states and internationally, with some locations protected multiple times.

    Read more about FloodBreak’s beginnings and successful cutomers in About Us

    Since its invention in 2001, FloodBreak now has over 700 floodgates installed in 10 countries. Customers include world class hospitals, major transportation systems, government buildings, commercial real estate, industrial plants including wastewater, hazardous chemicals, and nuclear power, DOT roadways and small businesses.

    Contact FloodBreak to learn how our range of flood protection solutions can help you.