Byrd Park Pump House

Byrd Park Pump House (HM2GQ6)

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N 37° 32.193', W 77° 29.155'

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The large granite building is what remains of the second oldest water pumping station in Richmond.

It was built in 1882 and provided drinking water for the City of Richmond for over forty years. Nine pumps on the first floor drew water from the canal in front of you and sent it up the hill behind you the Byrd Park Reservoir at Blanton Avenue and the Boulevard.

Thick walls to resist water pressure and a sturdy ceiling that could hold a gantry crane, allowed a second floor to be added as a dance floor.

Look for the round metal pipe at the corner of the main building. This was the intake for drinking water. Note that the water came directly from the canal. At first it was unfiltered and untreated. To the left are three square openings at the base of the building. These took in the water that drove the pumps.

A thought about health...

Richmond's drinking water came directly from wells and springs or directly from rivers and streams throughout the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

Most drinking water has contaminated with bacteria from horse manure that washed off roads or from leaky privies behind people's homes. Dysentery and typhoid were common.

In 1909 settling basins were constructed upstream and water became

much clearer and somewhat cleaner.
In 1914 chlorine treatment began, water became much safer and a great improvement in public health resulted.

Water now passes through the concrete building on the left that uses electric pumps.
HM NumberHM2GQ6
Placed BySt. Catherine's School
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at 8:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280358 N 4157300
Decimal Degrees37.53655000, -77.48591667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 32.193', W 77° 29.155'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 32' 11.58" N, 77° 29' 9.3000000000001" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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