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Water Towers?

Question Corner: February 2018

by Tim Athan

From the February, 2018 issue

Q. I'm sixty-three, and I've grown up with water towers. Are they really still necessary? I can't see how water towers would help us for long if we had a big water issue.

A. The city's two water towers are a simple and effective component of its drinking water system. Water is pumped up into them then dispensed using gravity. If they didn't exist, water mains would have to be pressurized using pumps powerful enough to handle peak demand. That's inefficient, because demand varies greatly throughout the day. Filled gradually using smaller pumps, the towers provide a buffer capable of supplying a city's worth of morning showers, even during power failures.


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[Originally published in February, 2018.]


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