News / Calgary

New Forest Lawn public art display to shed light on Calgary's underground

Display turns wastewater travels into Calgary art installation

Calgary's Forest Lawn Lift Station takes an unassuming look by day, but on Sept. 26 it will be lit up by night to reveal the wastewater system below.

Jennifer Friesen - for Metro

Calgary's Forest Lawn Lift Station takes an unassuming look by day, but on Sept. 26 it will be lit up by night to reveal the wastewater system below.

It may look like an average utility shed by day, but the Forest Lawn Lift Station will soon take on a new face by night.

With the community of Forest Lawn expected to continue growing, the new lift station will not only provide increased sanitary capacity, but will reveal a portion of Calgary's 4,500 kilometre wastewater system through a light display.

The Forest Lawn Lift Station is a part of the WATERSHED+ program, which places artists in Utility and Environmental Protection (UEP) core activities and the Calgary watershed. The City of Calgary Culture and the UEP will light up the lift station on September 26 as a combination of public art and infrastructure.

"Despite (the lift stations) vital role in our day to day, few people notice these usually non-descript buildings or understand their importance," said Chris Huston, manager of Field Services, Water Services.

"The Forest Lawn Lift Station helps us reveal what's happening underground in an exciting way that makes us think about how we're connected to the bigger picture."

Through the perforated metal encasing the structure, LED lighting will show an exact, to-scale map of the underground pipes connected to the station, revealing water flow in real time as the lights change colour.

"The only thing you typically see are these sheds with a plaque that says "Lift Station" and you have no idea what's happening inside," says WATERSHED+ Lead artist Sans facon.

"There's something very beautiful about exposing some of that system and helping us understand how we're all connected, while celebrating the infrastructure that makes it possible to live in an urban setting."

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