Near Erie in Erie County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Pump House
This area was once the working hub of the water system for the city of Erie. Water was drawn from Lake Erie into these settling ponds to your left and right. From the ponds the water would travel to the Chestnut Street facility. Use of the settling ponds was discontinued in 1956 when water purification processes were initiated.
The Kirschner Brothers of Erie constructed the brick structure before you in 1917. It housed a 100-horsepower steam engine to pump out the ponds. The engine has been removed, and today the building functions as a park concession. An addition, built in the 1990's, serves as a pretreatment facility and zebra mussel control station.
The large blue gear you see in front of you is just one of many valves once operating in this area. These valves were opened to allow water in or ou of the ponds as needed. Today settling occurs as the water treatment facilities and these gears are no longer in use.
Did you know?
These settling ponds combined have a 52,000,000-gallon capacity, which is enough water to fill over 800,000 bathtubs!
AS you traverse this sidewalk, millions of gallons of water are rushing past you twenty-five feet below on their 3-mile journey to provide water to the people of Erie.
Across the bay in the city of Erie this four story steam engine, "Big Bertha", operated from 1912 to 1951, pumping fresh clean water from the filter plant to the city reservoir. You can still see this magnificent machine in its original home at the Chestnut Street Pump Station.
Water quality testing laboratories at the Chestnut Street facility ensured the water was safe for consumption. these labs are still in operation today examining the water for both biological and chemical contaminants.
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
Location. 42° 8.922′ N, 80° 7.948′ W. Marker is near Erie, Pennsylvania, in Erie County. Marker is on Peninsula Drive, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Erie PA 16507, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Century of Recreation (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Expanding Erie (about 700 feet away); Presque Isle (approx. half a mile away); Five Courses Thick (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Loneliest Place on Earth (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Peninsula's First Roadway (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Flashlight (approx. 1˝ miles away); Leo's Landing (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Erie.
Categories. • Charity & Public Work • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.