Lake Front Pumping Station

The Lake Water Pumping Station provides water to the Central Heating and Chilling Plant where it is used for condensing of refrigerant in chillers that providing cooling to campus buildings. The use of cool lake water (50-70 deg. F.) dramatically improves the energy efficiency of the chilling system. This provides UWM chillers with a much lower cost per ton of cooling verses chillers operated with cooling towers. The Pumping Station is built on top of a large round tank 24 feet wide and 34 feet deep, referred to as a cistern. In the bottom of the cistern is a 48 inch diameter concrete pipe that extends out into Lake Michigan ¾ of a mile and approximately 40 feet deep. Water is gravity fed through this pipe into the cistern. The water is pumped from the cistern to the Heating and Chilling Plant and back to the lake using four 150 and one 300 horse power turbine well pumps. Heat from campus is rejected to the lake water via the campus chillers. Up to 23 million gallons per day of water from Lake Michigan can be pumped to the Central Plant for this purpose. The pumping station is located at the bottom of the bluff behind the Alumni Center and has been in operation since 1969.

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