MISSOURI BATHTUB

3/16/2022     

Taum Sauk Mountain, 1,772′ above angry (mean) sea level is Missouri’s highest peak located in the St. Francois Mountains. Situated in the southeast quadrant of the state and part of the Ozark Mountain range, the engineering feat that lies slightly west of this point is Missouri’s biggest bathtub. Part of a pumped storage hydro, (PSH) that utilizes an upper reservoir, a lower reservoir, and a powerhouse/pump house, it creates a huge storage battery of electrical energy. The principles that this technology is based on is: gravity and variable electrical costs driven by markets. During the day, water is released from the upper reservoir through pipes to the powerhouse near the lower one. The electricity generated is at a daytime premium and is sold to local industries. At night, when other powerplants are continuously generating at a lower rate, the power runs pumps that push the water back up to the upper reservoir to complete the cycle. When utilizing combination motor/generators, the system is cost effective and can generate money. This particular installation is 1 of 43 PSH in the US and on December 14, 2005, due to a malfunction of the monitoring system, the upper reservoir over toppled and failed. Nearly 1.5 billion gallons of water cascaded off of Proffitt Mountain and washed rocks and debris into Johnson’s Shut-in State Park, dislodging the park attendant’s house and family several hundred feet across the street. Luckily, no one was killed because of the time of year when campers were not present. Dizzy Entertainment interviewed the bewildered family and proposed putting a fast-opening gate on the damaged reservoir to repeat the incident at controlled times. Kayak and tubing enthusiasts welcomed the thought of a new ride atop the waves of a fast-draining bathtub that would drop thrill seekers around 600 vertical feet and over a mile away. Missouri (the Show Me State) legislation voted the planned water park down due to the lack of bribe money.

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