Moving one of the engines into the S-5A Pump Station (1954).
Pump stations are one of the most critical tools in our toolbox when it comes to moving water in South Florida. Did you know that the South Florida Water Management District operates nearly 90 pump stations? In this edition, we’re taking a look at one of the oldest and most powerful pump stations in South Florida: the S-5A Pump Station in Palm Beach County.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the S-5A Pump Station and officially handed it over to SFWMD for operations in 1955. The six engines found inside the structure have 1,600 horsepower each and can each move 800 cubic feet of water per second. That's like filling two olympic size swimming pools in 45 seconds! Water from the pump station can be directed to a variety of places including:
- Stormwater Treatment Areas 1-West and 1-East
- Water Conservation Area 2
- The L-8 Reservoir
These pumps have been in Florida longer than most Floridians: Back in the 1950’s, the 18.2-ton engines were airlifted into the newly-constructed foundation of the pump station -- and the rest of the building was then constructed around them!
To make sure we're always ready to respond to move water for our communities and the environment, SFWMD Field Operations staff regularly clean, maintain and repair water management infrastructure, like these pump stations. SFWMD staff recently removed -- for the first time ever -- the pumps from the pump station for major overhauls; regular maintenance and close monitoring ensures all of our infrastructures are ready to respond.
Managing the pump stations and engines is no small task: This work would not be possible without the 24/7 dedication, oversight, expertise and experience of our incredible field operations staff: the real stars of the show!