Submersible pumps power World Trade Center memorial

Submersible pumps power World Trade Center memorial

More than 50,000 gallons of water per minute flow through the waterfalls under the shadow of the new 1 World Trade Center, also called Freedom Tower, in New York City. They are the largest man-made waterfalls in the world, appearing to cascade forever, as symbols of eternal renewal and healing. 

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum was built on the original World Trade Center site. The memorial opened to the public for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2011 and the museum was dedicated in May 2014.

As visitors to the site watch the mesmerizing waterfalls, they are not able to see the water hit bottom. This is all part of the designers’ vision. The fountains – with close to a million gallons of water in circulation between them – are intended to represent something infinite and without limits.

Behind the scenes, this is all made possible due to a powerful pump system that transports the water in two applications: circulation and cascade. As explained on, the power is supplied by eight 12-inch, 60-horsepower (HP) vertically installed, dry-pit electric submersible centrifugal pumps. Together, they have the capacity to deliver 32,000 gallons of water per minute to each fountain.

The vertical cascade of the waterfall is supplied by four additional submersible pumps, while four more dry-pit electrical submersible pumps handle storm water drainage in the fountains.

“This is a very emotional project,” said G.A. Fleet & Associates’ Jules Leibman, who is part of the team responsible for installing and maintaining the pumps across the 16-acre site. “There isn’t anyone in New York who wasn’t affected by the events of 9/11.”

Read more about the pumping system for the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

by Simon