The Museum of Reclamation, placed within the water-scooping plant of Saiarino, is not a simple historical documentation museum, but rather a sort of true “building” yard. It is, therefore, a “living” museum, the history of which is nowadays still in evolution. The museum is intended to pursue the following aims:
- to supply the history of reclamation with documentary evidence, starting from the systems used in the ancient times, until the introduction of the steam engine and of current technological applications;
- to give evidence of men’s contributions to the reclamation process, within the context of the evolution in the socio-economic organisation that those contributions have brought about;
- to explain the importance of the water reclamation system not only in the past, but also at the present time, as a major instrument for the development and the safeguard of this territory;
- to allow all the documentary evidence to become a useful means of contributing to a growing sense of cultural identity and of raising levels of historical awareness about this area.
The only way to visit the museum is by a guided tour, the museum being located inside an active work yard, which continuously monitors the situation of water in order to intervene in case of danger. The route has been called “A history of men and waters”, with the intention of setting up an in-dissoluble link between the two major actors dominating the scene in the museum and whose interaction has been historically significant: man and water.
The route winds through the park and the buildings of the work yard, and the visitor needs an average time of 90 minutes to walk through it. It is also possible to arrange any tours and alternative routes in accordance with the groups’ educational needs or the visitors’ special interests.
Museum of land reclamation; Water-scooping system of Saiarino
The “Reclaimed Land Museum” is situated at the Saiarino water pumping plant - set up in part in 1994 - and was completed in 2002 with the installation of the original machines that once powered the water-scoops. It is an example of industrial archaeology and working plant.
It is located at 300 m. from the town, on the street Cardinala, connecting Argenta to the village of Campotto. The plant was built during the great drainage works of the years 1915-1925, by the engineer Pasini.
Saiarino was open in 1924, with the function of elevating low waters, conveyed in the canal Lograna and to be conveyed to the Canale Botte for high waters. It is owned by the Consorzio della Bonifica Renana, which carried out all the drainage works and still manages the water control of the area. The plant is built in fascist style: it presents large glass windows with iron grating and lighting in wrought iron, while the interior is covered in marble. It has 6 pumps to lift up low waters, which were the most powerful in Europe at the time the plant was built.
The PUMPS ROOM
is the heart of the living work yard and of the museum, and can be reached through the cantilever roof overlooking the big delivery tank. Here are six pumps that always catch the visitors’ eyes for their grandeur. They lift up the Lorgana tributary channel’s waters, received by low lands, and afterwards they let them into the tank before the building. From this tank waters will subsequently flow, in a controlled way, into the Lorgana tributary channel and will end up flow in the direction of the overflowing terrain case of Campotto and the Reno river. These pumps, therefore, perfectly work and, having been preserved so well, they represent an important piece of evidence of industrial archaeology.
Despite the age they are still working perfectly and they have never worked all together at the same time (only in some emergency the fifth pump was used).
The museum on google maps: