The Mississippi River has been pretty pissed off lately. And it's because of natural disasters like this that they're building the world's largest water pump in New Orleans.
This pump's 5,000-horsepower diesel engine spins a four-blade propeller 150 times a minute. The result is the movement of 15 Olympic-size-swimming-pools worth of water every minute (that's 150,000 gallons per second). A $500 million investment, the pump is protected by 32-foot-tall, 225-foot-wide steel gates, which reach the river's bottom and are able to withstand a 16-foot storm surge. As if that wasn't enough, a 12-foot-thick concrete slab holds the gates, and that slab has its own support—518 steel pilings, each able to withstand more than 435,000 pounds.
Although it's meant to be completed sometime this year, there's still no word from the Army Corp of Engineers as to when it'll be up and running. [Blue Living Ideas via PopSci]
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