It was originally due to be working from December 2011 and run through the whole of 2012 and not just the period of the Biennial, but its been beset with problems:
"The Civil Aviation Authority was worried that it would interfere with aircraft and the Port Health Authority had concerns that it could cause Legionella.It's worth noting that the Liverpool Biennial isn't mentioned at all in the BBC article, which talks about the piece as the production of the cultural Olympiad instead. But at least one of the loose ends from my Biennial experience has some closure.
"Even after those fears were allayed, the steam-generating mechanism did not work properly and the column still did not appear.
"Such vertical steam spirals occur occasionally in nature, when they are known as waterspouts, but nobody has managed to recreate one on this scale by man-made means."