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What is Wade Avenue Hiding?

Friday, January 24, 2014

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What secrets could lie behind the doors in your neighborhood?

Take, for example, a seemingly ordinary house that sits about 15 minutes outside of downtown Raleigh, NC, on Wade Avenue.

But.

The windows are fake, the porch lights are purely decorative, and there is nothing but a wall behind the front door.

Oh, and there is no driveway or mailbox, and no one is ever seen entering or exiting. 

What is this house in North Carolina hiding? Public radio station WUNC went to find out.

The house isn't really a house—it's a pump station for Raleigh's public utilities, according to public radio station WUNC. The station supercharges the water flow so that it can be pushed uphill. At maximum capacity, this "house" can pump 45 million gallons of water per day.

Blending In

While there are about 20 pump stations throughout the city, the one on Wade Avenue is the only one disguised as a house, WUNC reported.

So why hide this one?

Raleigh water pump
Eric Mennel / WUNC

At maximum capacity, this station can pump 45 million gallons of water per day.

"Mostly out of courtesy, the city decided to help the station blend in," according to WUNC. The house is architecturally similar to others in the neighborhood—metal roof, shutters on the windows, shrubs in the front lawn.

The walls are made of cinder block to help mask the noise, and the house is monitored remotely.

According to WUNC, disguised facilities are located across the country, hiding utilities like pump stations and electrical generators.

Is there one behind your neighbor's door?

   

Tagged categories: Design; Utilities

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