Heaven or graveyard?
Or is it a graveyard?

While water control structures don’t live forever.

The good ones do go to Hydraulic Heaven.

Can you see the living water control structure in the background? It’s the S-3

Where exactly is hydraulic heaven? It’s located in John Stretch Park in Hendry County just up against the levee on the south side of Lake Okeechobee. I happened upon the park by accident, as did perhaps these relic water management pumps. The more usual fate for old parts big and small is to end up being scrapped or going to the junk yard. What good fortune factored helping these particular pumps making it to hydraulic heaven is anyone’s guess. Probably luck. Or maybe they were especially good structures at keeping everyone safe from flooding, or somehow else saving the day, and so were rewarded by being put on display in John Stretch Park for eternity. Well, maybe not eternity. Several years later I returned to the park. The paint that looks so shiny in these photos had long since faded and started to cracked. As an engineer by training, it made me think about my own mortality. No matter how useful we are in our day, we all have a shelf life.

Is it a graveyard or a hydraulic heaven? What I can say is it’s only a park an engineer could love.

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