#59 Chestnut Street Pumping Engine


Typical US municipal steam water-pumping engine of the late 19th century and early 20th century

At the site of the first water pumping station providing water and sewage systems to the City of Erie in 1868, the Chestnut Street Pumping Station houses one of the largest steam engines, which pumped 20 million gallons a day. The triple-expansion steam reciprocating engine, which pumped water from the filter plant to the city reservoir, was typical of those used in municipal water pumping stations throughout the country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Built in 1913 by the Bethlehem Steel Company, the engine operated from 1913 to 1951, when the plant was electrified.

"Big Bertha," a 20-million gallon per day MGD Bethlehem Triple Expansion High Duty Pumping Engine. Photo source: Eriewater.org

Landmark Location

Erie City Water Authority Administration Building
340 West Bay Front Parkway
Erie, PA 16507

Visiting Info

Not available

Ceremony Notes

April 1981. Designated by the ASME Erie Section.


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