Park officials announce start of project to replace half-century-old water pumps at Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon National Park stock image | St George News

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Construction to replace two aging water pumps at Grand Canyon National Park begins next week.

Construction at the Indian Garden north pump house on the South Rim of the park will start Monday and continue through May 2020, according to a press release issued by the park.

The construction will require visitors to use a marked bypass trail around the site along the Bright Angel Trail.

The pump house provides water to the park’s South Rim, and outages from the pumps have contributed to multiple park-wide water conservation restrictions over the past five years.

Replacing the 1960s-era pumps will increase a reliable water supply and pumping efficiency to the South Rim as park visitation grows and water demand increases, according to the press release.

This 2014 file photo shows water spraying from a break in an exposed section of an aging water pipeline, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., Jan. 2, 2014 | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

The new replacement pumps are designed to work simultaneously, providing up to 700 gallons per minute.

The increased pumping rates will enable the park to operate them during off-peak energy hours, which will result in a cost savings to park water consumers.

The park can also remotely operate the new system, reducing operating man-hours.

As a critical piece of water infrastructure, this project is taking priority and is one of many water utility projects the park is working to address in an effort to reduce its maintenance backlog.

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