Officials Believe Huge New Pump Station Will Be Up to the Task in Dallas' Next Big Flood

Size doesn't matter with many things. Flood control isn't one of them.This spring, Dallas plans to test its new Able Pump Station, an enormous facility that replaces Small Able, built in 1932, and Large Able, built in 1954.Able's job is to prevent Dallas' central business district, the Interstate 30 canyon and surrounding areas from flooding, even in a Texas-size deluge.Able — in the southwest corner of downtown, between the Houston Street and Jefferson Boulevard viaducts — is aptly named. When fully operational next fall, the station's four pumps will each be capable of pumping 220,000 gallons a minute. The facility will be able to churn out the volume of an Olympic-size swimming pool every 45 seconds and will have four times the pumping capacity of the two stations it will replace.Dallas' floodplain management team already has smaller versions of Able pumping storm runoff into the Trinity River. The greater capacity to move flood water is visible and striking to managers accustomed to monitoring progress with gauges. The new station will allow them to actually see water being whisked away."It's almost like dropping a straw into a malt jar and you suck it up. ... You can see it go down," said Rick McRay, Trinity Watershed Management senior program manager. "That's how much difference there is."  Continue reading...

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