The Pump House at Point State Park

October 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Good evening, everyone! I was up rather early this morning (4:00 AM to be exact), so I decided to head into the city earlier than I usually do to see if I could capture some early morning photos. While I was walking about the city, I stopped by the fountain at Point State Park to try and get some still water reflection photos before the fountain came on. As I was approaching the fountain, I saw that the door to the pump house was opened, and I flagged down the pump operator to ask him what time the fountain kicked on. The next thing I know, I was being offered a tour of the pump house as well as the opportunity to actually turn on the fountain for the day!

Damon was kind enough to show me around the pump house and explain to me how things work. There are three "main" pumps to power the center parts of the fountain and another pump to power the "peacock" fountains at the base. Of the three main pumps, only two operate at a time to give the third pump a rest. The "resting" pump gets a week off and is alternated each week to help evenly rotate the workload among the three pumps. When the pumps kick in to power the 100-foot tall fountain, I could definitely feel the ground below rumble as the water began to circulate through the system. According to Damon, the fountain cycles about 225,000 gallons per minute! I'd like to thank Damon at the PA DCNR for giving me this awesome opportunity! After all, it's not everyday that some random Pittsburgher is given the chance to power on one of the city's most iconic landmarks!

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