This is becoming the week of stagnant water. I started writing these notes on June 11, 2020. Then on June 13 I learned that blue-green algae is toxic and can kill dogs. A dog doesn't even have to drink algae infested water, it can die by simply swimming in it. On June 16, I learned that MWRD pumps 1.3 billion gallons of water per day over artificial waterfalls to keep algae out of the Calumet River and Cal-Sag Channel. [DeBruler]
Back in the late 1800s, "The solution to pollution is dilution." So in 1888 Milwaukee built this pump house to pump a half-billion gallons per day from Lake Michigan into the Milwaukee River to fix the "river nuisance." (Remember, during this period Chicago was building its Sanitary and Ship Canal to reverse the flow of the its river with a larger flow than Chicago dug in 1871 as its solution to its "river nuisance.") Several sources mentioned that "river nuisance" was the accepted euphemism that the press in the late 1800s used to refer to the stinking cesspool that the river had become.)
[There a many more blades than depectied here.
The 500,000,000 gallon per day flow was high enough to replace all of the water in the river each day. "In 1912, the 350 horsepower steam engine was replaced with a 450 horsepower electric motor and the smokestack came down. That motor was still in use as late as 1987." [LandmarkHunter]
[This source says the conversion from steam to electricity was done in 1908. And that the pump was still used to aerate the river as late as 1992.
Today, the C&NW tracks in this photo have been replaced by the Oak Leaf Trail. In the left background, we can see the water tower of the North Point Pumping Station.]
The tunnel was 12' in diameter and about a half-mile long.
I first learned of this 1888 pumping station while watching this video.
|Screenshot,via live_videos Or search for "Machines of Milwaukee" in nmih|
About 10 years later, Milwaukee dug another 12' tunnel to flush the Kinnickinnic River.