Photo-Art by Neil de Boer

Doors Open – Owen Sound

Every year from May to October, communities across the province open the doors to hundreds of historical buildings, places of worship, museums, private homes, industrial areas, green buildings, heritage gardens and other interesting venues – some of which are rarely accessible to the public. Many of the participating sites offer special activities, such as tours, exhibitions and demonstrations – all free of charge!

In the past we have enjoyed Doors Open Waterloo Region so this year we plan on exploring what other communities have to offer.  Check out their web site for a list of participating communities.

Last weekend we travelled up to Owen Sound Ontario to see what they had to offer for Doors Open – Owen Sound. Our first stop was the old Owen Sound Filtration Plant located in the Inglis Falls Conservation Area. Built between 1910 and 1912 this concrete structure is 160 feet by 160 feet (48 meters by 48 meters). Water from the Sydenham River was diverted into the plant and filtered by gravity through layers of sand and gravel. Click this link for a more indepth description.


Water Filtration Plant Owen Sound

Water Filtration Plant Owen Sound

Cleaning the Filter System:

The process of cleaning the water filters was labour intensive, involving washing the top layer of sand. It took six men two days to clean one filter. Three men would skim the sand, two men would run wheelbarrows to the door where another man loaded the sand into a sand washer. The washer was filled with water and the sand was pumped under 110 pounds of pressure and sprayed out a fire hose which ended in a ¾” nozzle. The clean sand was deposited on a large cement pad outside the filters and then replaced by filling wheelbarrows and dumping the sand through the manholes in the roof of the filters. This process had to be done every two to three months, less frequently in the winter. Near the end of its use, the filters had to be cleaned very two to three weeks because of degrading water quality.

Water filtration plant Owen Sound

Water Filtration Plant Owen Sound – Showing the manholes where clean sand was dumped back into the plant.

This is the room with the valve controls and where they would add Chlorine as required.

Water Filtration Plant Control room Owen Sound

Water Filtration Plant Control room Owen Sound


6 responses

  1. Well, I never knew all this stuff! Thanks for the education. 🙂

    June 4, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    • Your welcome. Makes you wonder how many other hidden gems are out there!

      June 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

  2. Wow, all good fascinating stuff!

    June 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    • Thanks! I will be posting more fascinating stuff from Owen Sound soon.

      June 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

  3. Fascinating information and I love the concept of Doors Open.

    June 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

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