via Trip Savvy

Turning on a faucet and watching the water flow is a simple act that takes a lot of work. The urban water cycle is made up of several phases that could be grouped into supply, sanitation, and reuse. Today, curiosity is focused on something that is included in the first phase: storage.

So, who hasn’t come across huge reservoirs, small buildings, or infrastructures during a road trip that one doesn’t quite know why they are there? The answer to these three cases could be the same: it is a water tower.

 

But What Is A Water Tower?

via Surge For Water

Water towers are large containers whose purpose is to store large quantities of water at a sufficient height to pressurize distribution systems, which occurs through the elevation of water, thus using gravity to maintain water pressure.

They often work in conjunction with subway or surface service reservoirs, which store treated water close to where it is to be used. However, other types of water towers can only store non-potable water for fire protection or industrial purposes and are not necessarily connected to a public water supply.

What Is Their Purpose?

via Untapped New York

Their importance is such that they are capable of supplying water during power outages since they depend on the hydrostatic pressure produced by the water elevation. However, they cannot do so for a long time because a pump is usually required to fill the tower.

Their construction is necessary when there are no natural ground elevations, and their shape, size, and selected construction materials depend on the needs of each population (or on the whim of the architect), which makes it possible to find a great variety of designs.