Monday, November 24, 2014

Water Ways: The Iceberg

This post was contributed by Museum Exhibits Director Robin Meisner

Like an iceberg, Water Ways has a significant portion of its structure below the waterline. Most of what makes the exhibit work is unseen to our visitors, but is essential to the functioning of the hands-on activities.

Below the floor – which was already sloped and drained since the Museum used to be a jewelry factory and Water Ways was the plating room – is the bulk of the infrastructure. In the basement, city water comes into our building through two new giant filters to ensure the Museum’s water is high quality.

Robin shows her love of the new water filters and demonstrates their scale.

Three new distribution pumps recirculate the water in a loop from the play tanks through four filters, five holding tanks and sanitization systems (including a UV sterilizer) and back up to Water Ways. And a mist generator transforms fresh water into mist, which is blown up to the exhibit by a strong fan.

Pumps and filters and tanks, oh my!

Other bits of the “iceberg” are in the exhibit itself (though some are hidden from view), including an ice machine, ice crusher and lots and lots of piping.

So, while most people think of Water Ways as a fantastically wet place to play, it is also a feat of engineering!

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