Pump House on Searles Lake 1917

The brine from which potash was extracted in 1917 was in the middle of the lake four miles from the plant. The pumping station made of concrete and steel weighed 300 tons rested on the surface of the lake and demonstrates the resistance of the crust to pressure. There were three pumps installed capable of 500 GPM. The brine was drawn from 10 wells.

One of the gravest problems for the engineers was conducting the lukewarm brine from the pumping station four miles across the lake to the plant and to be able to maintain the brine at the same temperature. to prevent crystallization. To accomplish the the ten inch pipe was wrapped in hair and wool felt. This was encased in a steel jacket. This provided a thermal tube that delivered the brine without loss of a degree of temperature. The brine was delivered to two tanks, each with the capacity of 500,000 gallons. From the tanks the brine was pumped to the evaporation house and from there to the crystallization house where the potash was precipitated , dried and made ready for shipment.

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About David L Stevens

David has been the creator and maintainer of Trona on the Web since 1996. He has been creating websites since the beginning of the World Wide Web. He is not the best person to be the webmaster for a Trona Website but someone needs to do it and Doug Polly isn't with us any longer. David worked in maintenance for the San Bernardino City Schools, retired from Honeywell, worked in IT for a while and is now working as a school bus driver.

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