It‘s no surprise that water towers store water, but it‘s less well known that they also store energy. The golf Ball in Seven Lakes is a functioning system which helps to provide the 500,000 gallons of daily water used by Seven Lakes residents.
The Golf Ball holds 150,000 gallons and there are two tanks located on the North and West side for pumping.
The whole process starts at the water treatment plant. After the water is treated, electronically powered mechanical pumps send it through pipes, either to serve an immediate need (think showers, dishwashers and water sprinklers) or to a water tower for storage.
On a normal day, people are turning on their faucets and flushing their toilets, said Enos Inniss, an assistant teaching professor of civil engineering at the University of Missouri. The water that people are not using it has to go somewhere,“and that somewhere is the water tower.
Many water towers are tall and look like giant lollipops. Because the pumps from the treatment plant send the water up into the water tower‘s tank, the water gains potential energy, or stored energy.
This energy allows the water to flow out of the tank, turning its potential energy into kinetic energy (energy of motion) when needed, Inniss said.
A standard water tower can hold 50 times the volume of a regular backyard swimming pool, which holds about 20,000 to 30,000 gallons (about 76,000 to 114,000 liters) of water.
Water towers typically fill up when demand for water is low. This usually happens at night after most people go to bed. The pumps at the water treatment plant continue to send out water, but instead of going to people’s sinks, the water goes into water towers for storage.
Then, when people are running water to brush their teeth, take showers and brew coffee — that stored water, in addition to the water coming from the treatment plant, is available to through pipes to homes.
Other water towers also serve as art, including our Golf Ball in Seven Lakes the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower in Collinsville, Illinois, and a corn-shaped water tower in Rochester, Minnesota.