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(September 21–25, 2005)

Roberto Mancuso

Mind and Arms Energy

Simon Maguire

Spotswood Pumping Station

Melbourne, Australia

23rd September 2005 - 12:37pm

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© 2005 Simon Maguire, All Rights Reserved.

Spotswood Pumping Station was built in 1897, 5km from the centre of Melbourne, as part of the city's first centralised sewage system. Originally the station was completely steam powered with steam produced by coal-fired boilers. Each boiler consumed roughly seven tonnes of coal per day and took about four hours to get the steam up from the cold boilers.

Huge steam pumping engines, installed between 1911 and 1914, were used to raise sewage from the sewers 21 metres underground and pump it on to the sewage treatment plant. The steam powered pumps in this boiler house, were each rated at 300hp and capable of pumping 36 million litres of sewage each day. Between 1921 and 1938 electric-powered centrifugal pumps were installed. The four electric pumps in the middle of this room together could handle 180 million litres of sewage a day, much more than the steam pumps.

The steam pumps last ran in 1947 although continued to be cleaned and polished until the pumping station closed in 1965. Sewage still flows under this site on it's way to the present treatment plant.

The pumping station is now part of the Scienceworks museum http://www.scienceworks.museum.vic.gov.au
Nikon D70, Sigma 8mm, PTGui, Photoshop, Panocube

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