Public Art : Jet d'Eau
Architect : unknown
Description : A massive fountain of water which
sprouts 140 metres (459 feet) into the air from two pump located in Lake Geneva. The Jet d'Eau is one of the
Geneva's most famous land marks and is one of the largest fountains in the world, spewing 500litres( 132 gallons)
of water per second into the sky. The water can reach an altitude of 140m (459 ft) and is visible throughout the
city. The water is released by two pumps which consume over one megawatt of electricity and the water exits the
nozzle at a speed of 200km/h (124mph). At any given time there
Location : The Jet d'Eau can be reached by a stone
jetty situated at the left bank of Lake Geneva where it empties into the Rhone River. Be warned, if you venture
onto the jetty you may end up soaked to the skin if the wind changes and blows the jet your way.
Date Installed : The current Jet d'Eau was
installed in 1951.
History of The Jet d'Eau : When a safety valve
becomes art. The first Jet d'Eau was actually a safety valve built for a hydraulic power network located at the
Usine de la Coulouvrenière, a little downstream from where it is today. The valve was installed in 1886 to release
the pressure built up by excess water from the new haudraulic turbines. The pressure was caused when the
valves were closed each night when the workers went home.
By the time the valve problem was resolved, the 30 metres (98 feet) fountain had drawn a
considerabe amount of attention, prompting a few clever people to turn the valve into
a permanent water feature on Lake Geneva. In 1891 the Jet d'Eau was moved from the river to a prominent
position in the lake, where over time more and more powerful pumps were installed. The original jet shot water 90
metres (295 feet) into the air.
In 1951 the present Jet d'Eau was installed in a partially submerged pumping station. Instead of
using city water this time, the pumps used the lake water.
Trivia : Each drop of water takes 16
seconds to complete the round trip from nozzle to lake.
At any given time there is 7,000 litres (1849 gallons) of water in the air.