Water towers have a look that has become iconic, known for their tall statures and their unique designs.
But have you ever wondered just how much water is inside of one? In this article, we are going to be looking at how much water you can find- on average- within a water tower, as well as a look at the structures in general and how they work. Let’s get started.
What Is A Water Tower?
Water towers are large, elevated structures that support a water tank, which can be found at the top of the structure. Water towers are built at a high altitude so that they can pressurize the distribution system within them that is needed for the potable water found inside.
They are also built at such heights so that they can be used for emergency storage situations in the event of a fire or loss of power.
They make it so that no matter what kind of emergency you are dealing with, there should be a massive reserve of water able to keep entire communities going.
These towers are also built at a significant height simply due to the fact that gravity is an essential factor in maintaining the water within.
The force of gravity is able to help the water within the tower fall with the pressure that is needed for it to be pumped through the various pipes that will reach every building in that specific area.
The pull is so strong that the water will be able to get to even the highest roofs of buildings or the top floors in apartment buildings.
A water tower will work cooperatively with surface service or underground reservoirs, storing treated water in areas close by.
There are other kinds of water towers too, including those that store non-potable water- for industrial purposes or for fire protection- although these don’t necessarily need to be connected to one of the public water supplies.
How Much Water Is Stored In A Water Tower?
This will vary from tower to tower, but it is safe to say that all water towers are capable of holding a huge amount of water, varying from- depending on the size- one million to a whopping four million gallons.
Let’s put that into perspective a little bit. Consider a standard swimming pool. They can hold more than 20,000 gallons of water, give or take.
This is fifty times less than the amount of water that is contained within a water tower. To put it simply, they can hold a lot of water!!
How Do Water Towers Work?
There is a surprising amount of physics that goes into the mechanisms and the ins and outs of the water tower, including the aforementioned use of gravity via the high placement of the structure.
It all begins when the tower is filled with water, which is generally done via the use of mechanical pumps. When the water is pumped, it is done so from the water treatment plant.
This is- as mentioned- where the gravitational power comes into play, with gravity working alongside the water pressure to ensure that water can be distributed out.
Although towers will vary in size, the standard height of a water tower is about 120ft in height, with each foot that is added to it contributing to the strength of the water pressure. Each square inch of water offers around 0.43 pounds of pressure.
The water that is stored within a water tower not only comes into play during emergency situations, but also in areas where local treatment plants are running low on water.
The filtered and pure water mixture will be drained into the tower, where it is stored in a giant tank made up of around a thousand barrels. This allows sufficient amounts of water for twenty-four hours.
Water towers are usually on standby, particularly during the times of day when water consumption might be particularly high, such as in the mornings when everyone is rushing to get ready for work by showering, washing, cleaning their teeth, or just preparing their morning coffee.
The water tower will refill- via the use of an electric motor- during the times of day when water consumption is not particularly high, such as at night time when most people are sleeping.
The water will go straight to the tower rather than your home during this time, to increase the capacity of the water.
Are Water Towers Still Necessary?
As a failsafe, water towers are crucial and are very much still needed, despite our reliance on different water systems, the electrical grid, and more commodities to keep us functioning.
Clean and safe water is absolutely essential, and without water towers, this cannot be guaranteed in the event of an emergency.
Water towers act as a safeguard, allowing us to still have that all-important water access, even in situations where other methods of accessing it are cut off, such as with a major loss of power.
Water towers are also a necessity when it comes to times of day and certain seasons wherein water usage is significantly increased.
Different areas might also have different needs in terms of water usage, and water towers are able to provide this in a manner that will remain sturdy even in the event of an emergency.
Water towers are able to hold a huge amount of water- from one million up to four million gallons-, though this will differ depending on the size of the tower.
No matter how much water a tower can hold, what is certain is that water towers are still very much an essential amenity that can offer clean and safe drinking water- and possibly save lives by doing so- in the event of an emergency.