The Louisville WaterWorks Museum

I went somewhere and learned about water awarded the best in the country in 2008 and 2013 and it still tastes amazing today. It’s the Louisville WaterWorks Museum. It is all about the super cool history behind Louisville’s water.

First I did a scavenger hunt reading the text on the signs to learn the history behind Louisville Tap. There was also a great activity were there were 6 vials of water. I had to determine if a vial was purified tap water or if it was water straight from the Ohio River based on what was in it. Louisville started to pump water in 1854 and they first used steam to power the machines and then changed to electricity. Louisville was the first place in the world to combine a tunnel and a collector well system as well as riverbed filtration as source of drinking water. There are also a couple of fire hydrants on display that are large so they can pump more water. I think that because it is twice as big, dogs will like it twice as much.

Next there was a tour of the waterworks both new and old. I liked the old water tower – a super tall tower with a simple standpipe that was used to even out the pressure of the pumped water. There is a ladder that goes all the way up to the top and statues of Roman gods on the outside. All of the statues are made out of zinc except for one that is made out of concrete because when a tornado hit the tower in the 1970’s it smashed one of the statues. The biggest piece that remains is the right leg which is displayed in the museum.

After that I went to the newer pump houses that used to run on steam. They worked like a seesaw pulling in water and then pushing it out. The water went to the reservoir and then was distributed to Louisville. It took more than 20 people to run each steam engine. It is much different now. It uses electricity so it is a completely different machine with no people and much smaller. It is loud and there are lots of pipes in view. Next on the tour was a bridge to the intake building in the Ohio River. I learned about how the Louisville Waterworks dealt with floods and the consequences.

Finally is the water itself. Either from an outdoor water fountain or a cooler in the museum it is amazing. It is the best tasting anywhere in the nation.

This was an amazing place and I hope you can come see it. It is a stop on the Louisville Cultural Pass which ends August 6th.

 

Turtle

 

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