Pumping Station of Karapancsa

The pumping station of Karapancsa, built in 1904, is one of the masterpieces of Hungarian technological history and at the same time the most significant piece of inland water regulation in the region. Even nowadays it is one of the water facilities with the longest operational hours in the country.

As a number of other wetlands too, in the 18th century the southern part of the Hungarian Plains also used to be a sparsely populated area without any agriculture. With the increase of the number of inhabitants, the need for arable land kept growing in the Southern Great Plains. Drainage ditches, damns, canals were built and the water conditions of Mohács Island have changed.

It was not possible anymore to drain the unnecessary inland waters in the low-lying region, where this could only be done with the help of water ports and pumping. That is why the most significant inland water handling facility of the region, the pumping station of Karapancsa was built in 1904 in the outskirts of Hercegszántó.

 

The pumping station transferred the excess inland water of Mohács Island to the Baja-Bezdán Principal Canal. The buildings themselves are masterpieces of architecture harmonising with the scenery. The mechanical equipment, i.e. the two suction gas engine-driven turbine-blade pumps was made by Ganz & Co Machine Factory famous all over Europe. As its speciality, the gas needed for its operation was produced by burning wood, later changed to electric heating. The auxiliary equipment needed to operate the machines was the transmission shaft driven by Csonka’s engine, demonstrating the skill of Hungarian engineers. To prevent the sinking of the engine-house built on lose soil, grout was inserted and the performance of the pumps was increased to 5.7 m3/s.

The station erected at the dawn of the 20th century concentrates the high level technical knowledge of the era made obvious by the fact that the machines are still operational. Visitors are welcome at the pump-station and these masterpieces of industrial history can be viewed even during their operation.

Source: National Institute for Environment, Hungarian Museum of Environment and Water