The Salsominore pumping station
Water becomes a precious commodity with recognised healing properties
The territory of the Salso region is criss-crossed by a network of underground salso-bromo-iodine water aquifers that flow at depths of between 300 and 1200 metres. The aquifers have been known and used since ancient times to extract salt, which was obtained by evaporating the water.
After 1836, thanks to the research of doctors Berzieri and Valentini, water also became a precious commodity with recognised curative properties, and it was necessary to extract it in large quantities for the spas.
At first, extraction was carried out using manual techniques, then mechanical pumps and, from 1923 onwards, the Gas Lift extraction method, which was installed in this very power station.
This technique, which was highly innovative at the time, extracts water together with small quantities of hydrocarbons: methane gas and traces of oil. The gas, separated from the water and compressed in boilers heated by fire, is injected into the upwelling system to push the water to the surface, aiding extraction.
The thermal water is then separated from the other substances and passed into settling tanks, while the gas is recovered and used by the townspeople and other establishments.
For modern water extraction activities, more than two hundred artesian wells were built or innovated, equipped with technologically advanced pumps, such as the “Canadian” and the “Mammoth”, both in Salsomaggiore and in the nearby villages of Centopozzi, Bargone, Tabiano and Salsominore.
Special note of interest: this site was also one of the oldest and most productive oil wells in the Emilian Apennines, known as the ‘Trionfo well’ because of its exceptional productivity.
Between 1882 and 1884, the well was drilled to a depth of 308 metres by Marquis Guido Dalla Rosa, and initially produced up to 3750 kg of crude oil per day.
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