Functional Art

EWSU’s new pump station adds a unique attraction to the Downtown riverfront

Completed in April, the 45,000-square-foot Sunrise Pump Station and cascade add a riverfront amenity to Evansville Water and Sewer Utility‘s $729 million Renew Evansville project.

Evansville’s older pipes often overflowed into the Ohio River and Pigeon Creek during heavy rain. The $60 million station creates a new pump system from the East Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Ohio River with a capacity of 40 million gallons per day — although the daily average is around 15 million.

Anderson, South Carolina’s Clemson Hydraulics modeled the movement of water through the facility, while Indianapolis, Indiana-based Donohue and Associates designed the pump station, cascade, and surrounding features. Fifty contractors and 875 tradespeople worked on the project. 

Photo by Zach Straw. Lane Young, executive director of Evansville Water and Sewer Utility

Large windows outline 14,000 square feet of cresent-shaped public-use space. Glass panels allow a glimpse into the testing process and pumps, while the roof boasts sweeping views of the riverfront. EWSU also is installing signs explaining the pump station’s functions.

“We hope that we’ll be able to help our citizens understand the importance of water and how we need to be good stewards,” says Lane Young, EWSU’s executive director.

Plans include hosting high school and university students in the lab and planning for nonprofits and business event rentals. Young hopes for private funding to install an outdoor splash pad.

In August, the facility won the 2023 Community Placemaking Award from Accelerated Indiana Municipalities for its innovation, community engagement, and sustainable development. “We want the public to know what we do,” Young says.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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