The 1130 foot long Galveston Island Pleasure Pier was built in 1943 featuring rides, an arcade, an aquarium, a large ball room, named the Marine Ballroom, and, of course, a fishing pier. The pier was meant as an entertainment destination for troops and sailors stationed at nearby facilities during World War II. It was called the “Coney Island of the South” and drew multitudes of visitors who enjoyed the exciting pier features and top name dance bands. It remained a top regional draw for many years.
But, in 1961, the pier was destroyed. Hurricane Carla, ranks as one of the most intense Category 5 hurricanes In Texas history, barreled through Galveston with wind gusts as high as 170 miles (280 kilometers) per hour. The storm surge reached 10 feet (3 meters). Precipitation totals topped 16.49 inches (419 millimeters). To make matters worse, a tornado moved across Galveston Island, severely damaging hundreds of structures buildings and causing eight deaths.
In 1965, the Pleasure Pier was rebuilt featuring the Flagship, an over-the-water hotel, anchoring the end of the pier. It would last for forty plus years. Unfortunately, it too was destroyed. This time, the hurricane’s name was Ike. In 2008, Hurricane Ike damaged the hotel beyond repair. Ike’s rising storm surge spilled over the 17-foot (5.2 meters) Galveston Seawall, which faces the Gulf of Mexico. The landmark Flagship Hotel, which sat on deep concrete pylons, was seriously damaged. The hotel’s siding was peeled off by the storm, venting top-floor guest suites to the elements. The elevated ramp, which permitting vehicles to access the hotel’s lower level, fell into the Gulf. Although initially thought to be repairable, the hotel was finally demolished in 2011.
As they say, the third time is the charm. In May 2012, the Pleasure Pier was reopened as an amusement park featuring a 100 foot tall roller coaster, a 100 foot (30.5 meter) tall Ferris wheel, plus fourteen other rides, carnival games, souvenir shops and restaurants.
The developer of the “new” Pleasure Pier is Landry’s Inc., a Houston based dining, entertainment, gaming and hospitality company. It cost $60 million to complete.
BJM Pumps SK22 shredder pump, with its hardened cast iron rotating assemblies, stands up to rough handling and pumping abrasive sandy water.
Pleasure Pier has an approximate capacity of 7000 people. When you have thousands of visitors, on a pier jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico, you had better have adequate rest rooms available and operating at peak performance. Raw sewage had to be pumped from the pier based source to shore and connected to the Galveston city system.
On a busy hot day, the last thing Pier operators want to worry about is raw sewage clogging the system and wiping away the delightful smells of grilled hot dogs and cotton candy. Having to clear the pier because of sanitary facility closures is unacceptable from both a customer relations standpoint and a lost revenue standpoint.
BJM Pumps’ Houston based wastewater distributor, Pumps of Houston was called upon to evaluate the requirements and provide the optimum pumping solution.
Each Model SK22 pump can handle up to 240 gallons (908.5 liters) per minute of wastewater at heads up to 59 feet (18 meters).
Pumps of Houston recommended installing six sanitary sewage lift stations on the pier equipped to pump the peak load of raw sewage back to shore to be treated by the City of Galveston’s wastewater treatment system. Three of the six lift stations have been outfitted with a pair of BJM shredder pumps. Each Model SK22 pump can handle up to 240 gallons (908.5 liters) per minute of wastewater at heads up to 59 feet (18 meters).
The SK22 manufactured by BJM Pumps is extremely efficient at shredding potential blockage causing solids and moving the raw sewage from the pier-based sewage lift station to land-based treatment facility. These electric submersible pumps use a unique shredder action to pass large solids. A Tungsten Carbide tipped cutting impeller rotates against a spiral shaped impeller plate to shred any solids.
The 304 Stainless Steel motor housing helps protect the pumps from abrasion and premature wear caused by the sandy, saltwater environment. Competitive pumps with aluminum motor housings would quickly erode due to sand and corrode due to saltwater. The motor is protected by double mechanical seals and a lip seal which helps prevent abrasives, such as sand, from entering into the seal chamber. Unlike competitive pumps with soft resin or plastic components, the SK22 line, with its hardened cast iron rotating assemblies, stand up to rough handling and pumping abrasive sandy water.
The thousands of daily patrons excited about soaring over the Gulf of Mexico on the Iron Shark Rollercoaster or touching the heavens on the 100 foot (30.5 meter) Ferris wheel, want the assurance that sanitary facilities are nearby and operating effectively. Pier operators also appreciate the importance of reliability when it comes to maintaining their wastewater systems. ■
Suzette Gibson is the marketing coordinator for BJM Pumps, LLC. Headquartered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, BJM Pumps has been serving the industry since 1983 by supplying quality pumps at a modest price. For more information, call 877.BJM.PUMP (877.256.7867) or visit

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