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The Importance of Water Towers and How They Work

Water towers are an important part of our infrastructure that allows us to get running water in our homes. The basic principle of how they work is actually pretty simple – through gravity.

 Let’s dive in to learn the importance of water towers and how they work.

What is the Purpose of Water Towers?

Without water towers, the comfort of having running water in our homes, businesses, and more would not be possible. Due to the size of these tanks, many people believe that the main function of a water tower is to store water for an area. However, this actually not the case. In fact, using reservoirs to store water would be much, much cheaper than building and maintaining a water tower.

The primary purpose of a water tower is to supply and maintain enough pressure so the water can reach your home and run out of your faucet when you turn it on. That’s actually the reason that water towers are so tall and placed on high ground. They must be placed strategically in order to supply enough water pressure in your area. They have to be very tall, 12 inches (1 foot) in height add about a half pound per square inch of pressure or PSI.

The idea that water towers are used for water storage is not actually wrong – it’s just not the main function of a water tower. A water tower will typically hold at least a day’s supply of water based on the demand of the municipality it serves. They are designed to hold constant pressure at all times in the water system of your local area. This, and the fact that they hold about a day’s supply of water is the reason water is one of the most reliable utilities we have.

How do Water Towers Work?

The way water towers work is largely based on how they are built and where they are placed. The design of them is created to keep and maintain a constant pressure in the water supply. Not only do they help maintain pressure, but they have also used a central location for pumping the water out. Because of this, they decrease the need for pumping stations.

Water towers also help to maintain a municipality’s water supply. It does this by pumping water into the tower during lull times in demand and allowing the tower to recover and refill when it is needed during peak times. Doing so also increases the efficiency of the tower, as this method decreases the amount of electricity the pumps need to operate.

Although this is quite apparent, for water towers to work, the water must first be pumped into the tower. When water is needed, the pumps will get that water to exactly where it needs to go, with the correct pressure.

The guiding principle of how water towers work is through gravity. The pumps use gravity to supply the pressure to the water line – which, again, is why water towers must be so tall. Because they use gravity to operate, the water tower must be taller than the buildings that are being supplied with water.

When the demand for water is high, the pumps and water tower work together to get the water to the faucet and when demand is low, the tower will refill itself. They are designed to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and can even run for about 24 hours if the pumps fail or the power goes out.

Another advantage of using water towers is that they decrease the need for larger pumps located throughout the area they service. Instead, the use of gravity and the water being so high off the ground, allows municipalities to use smaller pumps and less electricity to get water where it needs to go.


Water towers are an extraordinarily important piece of infrastructure and are the reason we have running water in your home. They use pumps and gravity to maintain a constant pressure within the pipes and allow the system to work efficiently to transport water exactly where it needs to go.

Monitoring the tank levels in your water tower is important. Reign offers a variety of tank monitoring solutions that can fit your community’s needs. 

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