28 March 2019

Why Canberra won't see the Captain Cook Memorial Jet for several months

| Lachlan Roberts
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Captain Cook Memorial Jet

You won’t be seeing the fountain for a couple of months. File Photo.

Canberra’s iconic Captain Cook Memorial Jet will not be seen for the next few months as the fountain in Lake Burley Griffin is set to undergo repairs.

Two years after it underwent $3 million refurbishments, the fountain is in need of further repairs and maintenance.

According to the National Capital Authority (NCA), the fountain has been experiencing technical difficulties in the last few months, with staff and contractors working hard to limit the downtime.

NCA’s chief operating officer Lachlan Wood said manual operation has now become impractical, forcing the fountain to shut down till mid-2019.

Mr Wood said the NCA has brought forward a program of scheduled maintenance works to the jet’s infrastructure to coincide with the repair works and to try and mitigate delays.

“Completing the required repairs and maintenance works to the jet whilst not operating will create efficiencies and minimise the jet’s overall downtime,” Mr Wood said.

“The Jet is a complex piece of infrastructure, which requires ongoing repairs and maintenance to ensure it remains as one of Canberra’s landmark attractions.”

Phase One of the project will see the refurbishment of the flow control valve located within the pump-station, with parts due to arrive from England within the coming weeks.

The flow control valve will undergo refurbishment. Photo: NCA.

Following the completion of phase one, it is expected that the jet will operate intermittently to allow for the testing and commissioning of the refurbished control valve.

Phase Two of the project will see scheduled maintenance completed on the jet including the fitting of a new access system to the Jet’s outlet structure, ensuring safe access to the fountain.

The jet is expected to be operational by mid-2019, when it will return to its usual operating times from 11 am to 2 pm daily.

The iconic fountain was inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the 25th of April 1970, almost 50 years ago. Over six tonnes of water is pumped into the air, leaving the Jet at approximately 260 kilometres an hour.

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