Introduction to Water Towers

Course Number: EN-1007
Credit: 1 PDH
Subject Matter Expert: John Philip Whitman, P.E. (Inactive), BS, MS
Price: $29.95 Purchase using Reward Tokens. Details
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Overview

In Introduction to Water Towers, you'll learn ...

  • Why water towers are built
  • How water towers work
  • The relationship between the height of a water column and the pressure the column produces due to the weight of the water
  • How to calculate the pressure supplied by a water column of a given height

Overview

PDHengineer Course Preview

Preview a portion of this course before purchasing it.

Credit: 1 PDH

Length: 27 pages

Water towers are ubiquitous in our culture. Our modern civilization would be unsustainable without them, as they are so vital to a potable water distribution system. Although water towers are simply elevated structures supporting water tanks, they seem to work like magic to some of us who have ever pondered just what they do and how they do it. However, most of us never really think about what water towers do, or even why they exist. We go about our daily lives without really considering what it takes to get clean potable water to our office fountains on the fifteenth floor, at any time of day or night.

People have used water towers for thousands of years. The Romans, those marvelous engineers, made extensive use of water towers in their water distribution system. Many water towers were constructed in America during the Industrial Revolution. Some of these are now considered architectural landmarks and monuments. Water towers vary in size, shape, and appearance over a tremendous spectrum. Some are simple standpipes, or cylinders. Water towers are so common that you kind of see through them after awhile. You might not even notice some of them, or recognize them for what they are, because we sometimes disguise them as monuments or other structures, even houses.

A case study based on one of the author's forensic engineering assignments is presented in the course. A small town had contracted an engineering company to make certain improvements to the town's potable water distribution system. The engineering company was contracted to design and construct a new water tower, among other things. When the new tower was connected into the pre-existing water distribution system, problems emerged. Sudden, large changes in the water pressure were occurring. The new (elevated) tank could not be filled without overflowing the old (elevated) tank, except by the manual manipulation of valves in the field. The pre-existing water well pumps were seemingly not performing as well as they had before the new tower was tied into the pre-existing system. The town retained the author to inspect the system and determine the causes of the problems and find remedies.

Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained

This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Why water towers are built
  • How water towers work
  • The relationship between the height of a water column and the pressure the column produces due to the weight of the water
  • How to calculate the pressure supplied by a water column of a given height
  • Why using one or more water towers in a potable water distribution system is usually more economical than using ground-level storage tanks
  • How to read a centrifugal pump curve, and why that is important in understanding water towers
  • Water tower materials of construction

Certificate of Completion

You will be able to immediately print a certificate of completion after passing a multiple-choice quiz consisting of 10 questions. PDH credits are not awarded until the course is completed and quiz is passed.

Board Acceptance
This course is applicable to professional engineers in:
Alabama (P.E.) Alaska (P.E.) Arkansas (P.E.)
Delaware (P.E.) Florida (P.E. Area of Practice) Georgia (P.E.)
Idaho (P.E.) Illinois (P.E.) Illinois (S.E.)
Indiana (P.E.) Iowa (P.E.) Kansas (P.E.)
Kentucky (P.E.) Louisiana (P.E.) Maine (P.E.)
Maryland (P.E.) Michigan (P.E.) Minnesota (P.E.)
Mississippi (P.E.) Missouri (P.E.) Montana (P.E.)
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South Carolina (P.E.) South Dakota (P.E.) Tennessee (P.E.)
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Wyoming (P.E.)
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PDHengineer Course Preview

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Credit: 1 PDH

Length: 27 pages

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