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What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

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  • What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

    We don't have them here in the city here but they are all over the suburbs.

    Do we really need them?

    Why doesn't the water freeze?

    Do they ever get cleaned inside?

    Why do they all say 'Property of the US Government'?

    Why don't we have them in the city?

    Sometimes I can't sleep and stuff like this creeps in my head

  • #2
    Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
    We don't have them here in the city here but they are all over the suburbs.

    Do we really need them?

    Why doesn't the water freeze?

    Do they ever get cleaned inside?

    Why do they all say 'Property of the US Government'?

    Why don't we have them in the city?

    Sometimes I can't sleep and stuff like this creeps in my head
    I live in a small town, and yes, we need them.

    The water doesn't freeze because there is so much of it, and there is almost always Some flow pulling on the system.

    I doubt they ever get cleaned, but I could be wrong on that.

    They won't let me get close enough to see who owns ours, but i kind of assume its the town itself.

    I'm assuming your city uses pumps to maintain water pressure?

    I've also been told that lines pressurized by a gravity feed like a water tower aren't subject to friction loss, whereas pumped water is. Though after being kept up most of the night by the kid, I lack the ambition to research that.
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

      Here is my understanding: It is easier and cheaper to pump water up the 50-100 feet to a reservoir (water tower) and then let gravity provide the pressure for distribution, then it is to provide the pumping required to maintain pressure in a system without the tower.
      They won't freeze because even in a small system there would always be some water movement, even late at night.

      As for cleaning, maybe the chlorination/cleansing process takes place on the outlet side when the water leaves the tank and enters the system.

      There are also other kinds of water towers that are seen on the landscape. Did you ever notice large tanks near shopping malls or large factories ( in the Northern states)? I believe these are expansion tanks for very large hot water heating systems.

      I may not be 100% accurate on the above, but hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along to correct.

      While on the subject, on "Dirty Jobs" they showed the replacement of rooftop, wooden water storage tanks being done on tall building in Manhatten. I had missed the beginning, but I believe that each building has one of these tanks and it is used as a mini water tower for that building only.

      It seems sort of archaic and unsanitary especially when you see all of the guys building it and walking around inside of it as they work.

      Did anyone else see that episode or have knowledge of those tanks. They are still constructed of 1 1/2(?) lumber and are unlined and I cannot believe that they are code acceptable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

        Storage and pressure would be the short answer. We don't have them out West because we have hills and mountains to build tanks on.

        Mark
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

          as far as cleaning I do think that there is "Maintenance" done on them, so they are emptied and worked on,
          about 10 years ago, I bought a steel tank for water storage from a fellow that did this type of maintenance, and before he would sell me the tank He said it need a epoxy coating on its interior, (even tho the tank had been used for water storage in the past for fire purposes for an industrial site),
          basically it just puts a form of plastic coating on the interior, I am guessing that since they have come up with the epoxy coatings the need for inspecting for pits and corrosions is not what it once was.
          and I know when the local town had the old tower, they would drain it (warnings would go in the paper for no watering and other extra water use for a few days when they did maintenance on it), exactly what was done I am not sure. The new tower they put up has been up for guessing nearly 15 to 20 years now and I am not remembering any notices in the paper, but a tad bit of chlorine in the water will keep the tank clean, unless there is some type of sediment that is being pumped with the water, also it is not in the sun light, so it is not like a lake.

          as far a freezing, there is freezing but like said the flow of water keeps it from getting solid,

          if a community is in a valley or some elevation change, the water tower may only be a tank up on a hill and not on legs,

          but the purpose is to create pressure and extra water storage for peak use or fire protection. a small pump can supply water 24/7 but the tank gives a surge capacity.

          I really do not know how larger cities do it as there does not seem to be the use of water towers as used in smaller communities, I have noticed that many of the larger cities are landscapes are not dotted with water towers,

          Around here the towers are owned either by the town or village or an or company I know of none that are stated GOVERNMENT property, unless it was at a old or current, military installation.
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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          • #6
            Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

            If they're in D.C. they Probably Are U.S. Government owned, since it doesn't have a state government to handle that type of thing. So that would explain why you have signs like that and the rest of us haven't noticed them.
            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

              and i thought they were used to announce that you're entering another town.

              who has the photo of the tank as we approached elyria, ohio?

              i have it, just need to find the right memory card


              for smaller towns that are pretty much flat, they are a great idea. the pressure will remain constant on the system.

              but for big cities with large demands or cities with hills, the system would still require pumps to deliver the volume and pressure required.

              rick.

              bill get some sleep and stop thinking, team geritol is depending on you
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                Elevated water tanks are used to maintain water pressure and capacity. If you did not have storage capacity the pumps would have to cycle on and off every time there was a "demand" for water.

                Regardless of whether water flows by gravity or the results of pumping there is friction loss in the pipe. The longer the pipe is the more friction loss.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                  the lack of friction loss made sense at the time because of the steady head pressure pushing down on the line at all times.

                  But, I'll defer to the engineer on this one, that stuff confuses me.
                  No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                    They are also designed to provide constant delivery of water in the event of a interruption of service from the main plant. I believe the towers, most of them can provide 1-3 days of water supply. Which in average thinking, crews working around the clock can get a system back operable in that time frame.
                    Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                    • #11
                      Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                      As a teenager we used to climb some of the local towers and spray paint graffiti on top. Ya know, stupid high school stuff like "Go Patriots, Beat the Bison"

                      One time, I was too drunk to jump up to reach the ladder MaryBeth Flanagan had a panic attack half way up the ladder and froze there for 2 hours crying. She trapped four others up top because they couldn't get down. Eventually, someone called 911 and they all went to jail after the local fire dept. 'rescued' them. They all ended up in a Federal Court House jail.

                      Apparently, it's a federal crime to trespass and spray graffitti on government property

                      MaryBeth went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude. I never saw the other four again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                        How about this water tank?



                        Mark
                        Attached Files
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                          that's the one i wanted to post

                          i guess with 5 computers and endless memory, you have it all at your fingertips.

                          i have to swap cards and look up the dates
                          nice photo.

                          don't you have others from that trip

                          like from the roundup games

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                            Can someone at Rigid find out if that is for domestic water or heating purposes? I bet it is an expansion tank for the hot water heating system.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What's the Purpose of the Water Tower?

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              that's the one i wanted to post

                              i guess with 5 computers and endless memory, you have it all at your fingertips.

                              i have to swap cards and look up the dates
                              nice photo.

                              don't you have others from that trip

                              like from the roundup games

                              rick.
                              You are like the only guy I know who does not download his photos off of their cards. It is a lot easier to find photos when they are on your computer and set up into organized folders. I'm surprised you don't buy a new camera every time your card is full.

                              Mark
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                              Comment

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