North Carolina-Water Towers-April 7


North Carolina People, Places, and Things-April 7

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

I got thinking on my way to work yesterday just how many water towers and radio towers are there in North Carolina. My home town of Lumberton has a unique one as does the campus of UNC Pembroke.

UNC Pembroke on left and Lumberton NC on right

I was shocked to learn that North Carolina has 496 water and radio towers. If you want to download GPS coordinates for all 496 or read the list you can go to the link below:

http://www.expertgps.com/data/nc/towers.asp#Clyde

Most of us are lucky because water pressure is very reliable thanks to water towers.

A water tower is an incredibly simple device. Although water towers come in all shapes and sizes, they all do the same thing: A water tower is simply a large, elevated tank of water. For example, take the water tower shown below. This tower is located in Kill Devils Hill, near Kitty Hawk, NC. It is about 165 feet (50 meters) tall.

Kill devil Hills

Water towers are tall to provide pressure. Each foot of height provides 0.43 PSI (pounds per square Inch) of pressure. A typical municipal water supply runs at between 50 and 100 PSI (major appliances require at least 20 to 30 PSI). The water tower must be tall enough to supply that level of pressure to all of the houses and businesses in the area of the tower. So water towers are typically located on high ground, and they are tall enough to provide the necessary pressure. In hilly regions, a tower can sometimes be replaced by a simple tank located on the highest hill in the area.

A water tower’s tank is normally quite large. A normal in-ground swimming pool in someone’s backyard might hold something like 20,000 or 30,000 gallons (that’s a lot of water!), and a typical water tower might hold 50 times that amount! Typically, a water tower’s tank is sized to hold about a day’s worth of water for the community served by the tower. If the pumps fail (for example, during a power failure), the water tower holds enough water to keep things flowing for about a day.

I like looking at water towers and these three are all located in North Carolina make me smile for different reasons.

 

 

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