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Keeping Their Wooden Shoes Dry

NETHERLANDS | Sunday, 30 November 2014 | Views [345]

DF Wouda Steam Pumping Station, Lemmer

DF Wouda Steam Pumping Station, Lemmer

SO WHAT HAPPENS IN A COUNTRY THAT HAS places like Shockland and Beemster that have been reclaimed from the sea, when a land of canals that must be protected by dikes is threatened by a major storm or, heaven forbid, rising sea-levels?  When the quaint, old fashioned windmills are no longer up to the task?

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    No longer up to the task

The Dutch can hardly count on another intrepid kid to stick his finger in the dike.  Luckily for them they have D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station and its sisters to keep the sea at bay.  Actually, D.F. Wouda is the back-up pumping station, only used in emergencies but this World Heritage site has been in operation for nearly 100 years.  The daily chore is handled by 1600 electrically powered stations but during the frequent norhtwesterly storms the old-faithful stations are put online.

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      Quiet as a mouse

You could literally eat off of the steam engines that power the pumps at Wouda.  Joop took us through the plant, now powered by diesel, but told us about when it was coal fired.  Even today, he told us, the furnaces sound like jet engines but the actual steam engines emit only a whisper of escaping steam.  Sometimes old school is better.

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