Destin, FL. – The City of Destin recently had its Harbor Pump completely rebuilt, an arduous process that has taken over six months. Parts original to the former pump configuration include the pump housing and one short drive shaft with the remainder being brand new. The pump’s re-installation began November 18th with the arrival of a crane and support staff from Gilbert Pump (Fort Walton Beach). With the subsequent reinstallation of the primary components and restoration of power, the pump is back in full operation. City Staff is also awaiting the arrival and installation of a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) for the system. In its former configuration, the Harbor Pump was either off or on. The VFD will allow staff to tune the motor’s rotations per minute to optimize output whilst minimizing the effects of cavitation and/or air entrainment which can damage any pump over time. Once online, the city will operate the pump using the regular summer schedule for a few weeks and will then begin operations on a reduced off-season schedule. Additionally, city staff recently performed a dive to inspect and clean the Harbor Pump’s intake structure located in the Gulf of Mexico. Staff removed biological growth (primarily plant) from the intake grates.
What is the Purpose of the Harbor Pump?
The Harbor in Destin, home of Florida’s largest commercial fishing fleet, is a functionally closed 240-acre waterbody with water-quality issues that include nitrogen and phosphorous loading. Nutrients like these, commonly found in fertilizers along with warmer water temperatures, can lead to algal blooms, reduced dissolved oxygen levels, fish kills, cloudy water and odor complaints if allowed to accumulate over time. To combat the effects of urbanization and the water quality issues it can create, the pump system, in operation since 1992, brings low-nutrient water into the Harbor to flush out pollutants and raise the dissolved oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic life. Video is available at https://youtu.be/xdXWF18dyEA.