‘This is the people's property’ — City Establishes Public Hours for Sunrise Pump Station
Rooftop observation deck, restrooms, swings and view of water testing labs and water pumps designed to bring public into $60 million facility
The new Sunrise Pump Station was opened earlier this spring, with the plans of making it a public facility.
Recently the hours making that possible were established. The building will be open seven days a week from 8 AM to 4 PM, said Water and Sewer Utility Public Information officer Ella Johnson-Watson.
“And that gives the public access to that inner lobby area where they can look through that wall and windows and actually see our lab techs at work,” she said. “There's also restrooms on the inside of the building. And they'll be able to go up to the second floor to the observation deck. It's got one of the best views of downtown Evansville, and there are some nice swings up there for them to enjoy.”
Visitors can also see the massive pumps which are the last stop the treated water takes prior to the cascade. The water is used by the water customer, sanitized at the treatment facility, and returned to the river via the waterfall-like cascade.
The facility is located on the Ohio River Scenic Byway just south of Evansville’s downtown.
This project and the wastewater plant was compelled by the Federal Government and the EPA through a consent decree in 2016. The city was accused of Clean Water Act violations.
The total cost the design and construction for all projects related to Sunrise Pump Station and Cascade is about $60,000,000, said Johnson-Watson.
The the pump station and lab building were completed in 2022. The grounds around the pump station and lab were opened in April.
Johnson-Watson said aside from regular visitors, there have been statewide educational seminars by the Indiana Water Environment Association.
“This is the people's property, the way we look at it, (as a) water and sewer utility, we are ratepayer funded,” she said. “And so this is an amenity that we want the community to enjoy.”
Outside the building there’s also a learning garden with native flowers, a doggie water fountain and more swings. Daycare groups have made the grounds and cascade a place to stop.
She said while there is underground infrastructure for a splash pad in the building courtyard, they’ll need private funding for that to be completed.
“We're looking to the public — private donations to help us complete the inside of that lobby,” she said, because they’d like to have educational exhibits. “Also the splash pad area outside — we've got the pipes and everything underground ready. But we just need that private investment to help us make that a reality.”
The Sunrise Pumpstation is near the Sunrise Skate Park which is between construction phases currently.
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