Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Water Tower Mysteries

So once upon a time I wondered how water towers made any sense. Sure, releasing water from a great height will create great pressure, but what about the energy it takes to get it up there in the first place? My first stab at solving this mystery was to ask the friend I always ask the random things I am wondering about. He was unsure, and told me he could make something up. (I appreciate this, as I had other go-to people who simply would make something up, lie about it;....totally lame). So I did what any distinguished intellectual would do in my situation: I googled it. This is my understanding now.

Water flows from the treatment facility to a pump. From the pump, the water goes where it needs to, according to residential need. When supply exceeds need, the excess water is pumped up into the tower. If need exceeds supply (say, during peak times when everyone is showering for work), then the lacking amount is drawn from the tower. Also! If the power goes out, The water tower contains enough water to supply its households for one day (and of course, gravity does not require electricity to work).

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