The Tallest Fountain of the Middle East: King Fahd’s Fountain
Known as the tallest outdoor water fountain in the Middle East, and of the world, is King Fahd's Fountain. Colloquially dubbed as Jeddah's fountain, this astounding water feature is nestled inside the urban skyline of the bustling city of Jeddah, the capital of Saudi Arabia, which is the wealthiest area in the Middle East. The fountain was donated to the city by none other than its monarch, King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, and was constructed three years before it was launched in 1985.
Guinness Book of Records listed this fountain, jetting over the height of a thousand feet. It has become a memorial landmark for Jeddah, and postcards and photographic souvenirs of the city can't be complete without it. The fountain is so tall by a huge distance among its other competitors. The water spray is visible through the entire cityscape and can be viewed from afar. Some say that the fountain is even taller than the Eiffel Tower, even if you include its lengthy antenna!
Passersby can only be amazed at the wondrous spray of water that shoots upwards at a speed of 233 miles per hour. A massive amount of water creates a plume shape as it shoots vertically in consistent, constant speeds. The mass can exceed a whopping 16,000 kilograms of airborne weight.
It must be noted that the fountain takes a page from the Swiss' Jet d'Eau fountain, found in Geneva. Surprisingly, the fountain is also the city's beloved landmark. What the King Fahd’s Fountain was able to achieve, however, was the right engineering in height and water spray that makes this fountain worthy to be listed in the Guinness.
This fountains virtues are also its complications. Since King Fahd's Fountain runs using sea water at an unusually fast speed, among the key challenges to the builders of the structure were corrosion and abrasion. Both difficulties create problems for outdoor water fountains and may result in the entire structure breaking down from the inside. Thus, the people who build this created a special pit for the pump intakes. It dries the area and is yearly treated with a solution that prevents the growth of buildups and microscopic life. Water that jets out into the plume is filtered through a row of screens before it reaches the pump. Thus, soil, sand, and other organic elements are filtered out easily.
Because of its height, there are about 500 strong spotlights which are used to brighten the fountain during the dark. These lights are made to endure the constant droppings of tons of water from thousands of feet. Special materials are made to cover these illuminations to keep the barraging water from breaking it. The lights are enclosed tightly in a special case, giving off the glow of colors during the evening.
King Fahd's Fountain has remained open to this day, and the only time the fountain was said to be shut down is during its yearly maintenance which takes less than a month.
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- Caris Cruz