In a town in northern Louisiana near the Texas border lie the remains of the McNeil Street Pumping Station, the last steam-powered water treatment plant in the United States. Although the plant retained steam power until the 1980s, it was once a state-of-the-art water treatment facility. Shreveport was among the first cities in the nation to use chlorine for water treatment and led the way in adopting early filtration.
The entire pumphouse is now preserved as the Shreveport Water Works Museum, making it one of the largest collections of intact Victorian waterworks in the world. Its importance to local history and the evolution of technology has earned the museum a strong collection of accolades, including its designation as both a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
Although the facility no longer supplies the city with water, life is still found in its pipes. Many exhibits are accompanied by working scale models of the water filtration process they implemented. Plus, the steam whistle that once alerted the city to fires and other emergencies still has its voice—with the permission of a tour guide, visitors can open the valve and hear the cacophonous whistle for themselves.