How Water Towers Work

Water towers are a well-used part of a community. However, they are often over looked because they are taken for granted.

Everyone has seen water towers, especially in smaller towns throughout the United States, but have you ever wondered how they work? Even though water towers come in many sizes and shapes, they all do the same exact thing: they supply water to an area. The amazing thing about water towers is that their shape and height are important to the function they perform.

The height of water towers is important because it provides the pressure necessary to furnish water to all the houses and businesses that depend on it. 043 pounds per square inch of pressure is provided by each foot of height of the water tower and a typical water tower supply will average between 50 and 100 pounds per square inch of pressure. Even though most water towers are very high, some are no more than tanks located on hills, as long as the hill is tall enough to provide the pressure needed to move the water.

The tank on a water tower is usually large and holds a huge amount of water. The tank must be large enough to hold a day's amount of water for the area it serves. This amount of water is necessary in case the pumps fail then the community will have the water in the tower to survive on until the pumps are up and running again. Once the pumps are operating properly, they are used to fill the tank located on the water tower to capacity in order to be ready for the next pump problem as well as to keep the pressure steady for the community that relies on it.



Even though retaining enough water to supply the community during an emergency is important and the amount of water pressure is important, one more advantage to having a water tower is money. A water tower can save help the community it serves money by allowing the community to purchase pumps that are rated for the average amount of water to be used instead of a pump that will be large enough to handle peak demand. If a pumping station averages 500 gallons of water per minute for a total of 720,000 gallons per day and when the people of the community begin using the water to get ready for the days work all at the same time, around 7a.m. the water demand might peak out at 2,000 gallons per minute. There is a big difference between the 500 gallons per minute average and the 2,000 gallons per minute during peak time. A pump large enough to handle 2,000 gallons per minute would be considerably more expensive than the pump that can handle 500 gallons per minute. The stored water in the water tower tank will allow the consumers to use all the water they need without having to have a larger pump to get it to them. The pump will then refill the tank when demand slows down, generally at night.

The water in the water tower comes either from a water well, a river or a reservoir such as a local lake. This water is pumped from the water supply to a water treatment plant that removes sediment and bacteria to produce clear, germfree water. The clear, germfree water, pressurized with a high-lift pump, is sent to the water system's primary feeder pipes. The primary feeder pipes are attached to the water tower and to the pipes of the consumers connecting all the parts needed to move the water from the water supply to the consumers.

Water towers are a well-used part of a community. However, they are often over looked because they are often taken for granted, even thought their responsibility to the community is very important. When the water pump produces more water than the water system needs, the extra water flows into the water tower tank and when the community demands more water than the pump can supply, the water will flow out of the tank to the consumers.

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