Pump company provides stadium spectacular
If you find yourself watching the Major League Baseball playoffs this weekend, zone in on a Kansas City Royals home game and you’ll come across a hydraulic pump system.
At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals’ home ballpark since 1973, exists one of the truly great amenities in the game. New-age stadiums have gone unabashedly over-the-top with things such as swimming pools, indiscernible structures, and mascot slides (OK, that one’s kind of cool), behind their outfield walls. But in center field at Kauffman (originally known as Royals Stadium), the simplicity of jet fountains that shoot 100 feet in the air has a distinct and enduring charm. It’s known as the Water Spectacular, with a 322-foot wide base and a 10-foot waterfall flowing into two basins. This is the largest privately funded fountain in the world – and the hydraulic power is supplied by Grundfos Pumps.
An added bonus is the fact that the system is extremely energy-efficient. Eighteen state-of-the-art pumps in all save the Royals an estimated $50,000 to $65,000 in energy costs each year.
Thirteen of these pumps are used to run the water displays, propelling more than 1,000 gallons of water per minute to a maximum height of 125 feet. The pumps are synchronized with sound effects, lighting fixtures, and occasionally fireworks to provide fans with a multi-sensory experience: fountains in mid-game action.
Meanwhile, five additional Grundfos SP pumps each move 800 gallons of treated water to heights of 60 feet to create a stunning waterfall effect. The Grundfos pumps are made of stainless steel to prevent rusting and ensure low maintenance and reliable power. Most importantly, variable frequency drives allow the pumps to use only the optimum amount of energy at all times.
The fountains, which are rooted in the idea of commemorating Kansas City as “The City of Fountains,” are a fixture in MLB and well-known across the league as one of the best attractions at any stadium. The fountains are on display before and after the game and in-between innings, while the waterfalls are constantly flowing.