Dwayne Richard and Tom Diehl

New Orleans Drainage Station Wins Oldest Pump Contest

Gardner Denver Nash found other long-lived pumps in a Florida water district and at pump and paper mills.

Gardner Denver Nash announced that the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Drainage Station #6 is the winner of the “Oldest Pump Contest.” The board entered the contest with two pumps that have been running since 1928.

The board, which is the water/drainage arm of the city of New Orleans, has a number of drainage stations throughout the city. At each of these stations are Nash vacuum pumps serving as priming pumps for huge, horizontal drainage pumps. Many of these pumps (including the two winners) are driven by 25-cycle motors. The power is produced by the agency because the normal 60-cycle power produced by the local power company cannot be relied upon during hurricanes. Many of the other Nash pumps are diesel engine-driven. Another interesting note is that the winning pumps are chain driven, an unusual setup.

The two winning pumps were installed when the station was built. Wet weather during Hurricane Katrina submerged the station where these pumps are installed. Once the water level dropped below the station floor level, the Nash pumps were started to prime the drainage pumps, which then ran for several weeks draining the city.

Other contest entries included two Nash pumps that have been running in a Florida water district since 1953, a Nash H-9 that has been used in the manufacture of molded pulp products since 1962, and a Nash H-5 that has been working in a paper mill since 1979.

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