water towers

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hello, i am moving to upstate new york and am looking for advice from people who have had water trucked to the land monthly. Do these companies also supply a tower to hold it?What happens in winter?Is it worth doing this? What kind of costs are incurred? What are your experiences? Thank You!!

-- ken steck (kenns1@hotmail.com), October 03, 2001


Ken, generally the people who have water trucked in dump it directly into a dug well that they then pump out of just as if the well was filling itself, or else a cistern under their house. Generally this is done in a drought circumstance, however. I don't need to do this myself and don't know about costs, but I don't think they are prohibative for just a household. Might be another matter if you are trying to water a lot of stock. As for winter, the trucks can still run in the winter as most of them use old milk tankers to transport in. I have never seen anyone with their own private water tower, but you can buy large holding tanks at farm supply stores, or else buy an old bulk milk tank that can't hold its freon anymore and keep it in a building or garage that has minimal heat to keep it just above freezing.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), October 03, 2001.

The deep-well water in this part of Missouri has a high iron and sulphur content and though OK to drink, is largely unpalatable. A shallow well might have "sweet" water, but the flow might not be reliable. Consequently a lot of people still use cisterns for their water. Usually this is a cement or layed rock or brick holding tank from which water is pumped. I imagine you asked about a tower thinking it would supply pressure, but wondering if it would freeze. I've wondered that myself. There must be a reason individuals don't use them. But, municipalities use them. I guess there must be a size-to-freeze ratio that has to be worked out. Here, you must supply your own holding tank, whatever it is. Good luck.

-- Louise Hansen (Rockinhorse@knoxy.net), October 04, 2001.

Back in the late 1970s, my wife, two small daughters, and myself lived in an 1880s farmhouse in rural North Dakota (as if there's urban ND ). There was no well and we had to have 2,100 gallons of water trucked in and dumped in the underground cistern every three weeks. They had to trucked the water 25 miles and charged us $21 a load for the 2,100 gallons.

A pump and pressure tank were in the house just like if we had a well. A tower would never work in the north country, because even the underground cistern covered with straw bales would still get a foot of ice on top of the water in the winter. Sometimes the ice cap would seal itself to the sides of the cistern. This would create a vacuum underneath the ice cap which overcame the pump and we wouldn't get any water. Then I would have to go out and beat on the ice cap with a ramrod until it either broke loose or I beat a hole through it to let in air. This happened several times.

One time, it was too thick to get a hole through it and it wouldn't release from the sides either. We had to have a special load of warmer water trucked in and dumped on top of the ice. Within and hour or so, the 10-foot in diameter ice cap finally let go and slammed up against the top of the cistern with one helluva thump. I think it actually broke some bricks loose at the top.

Another time, the water line from the cistern to the pump froze. That was the year our frostline went down 8 feet.

So, no, a tower wouldn't work up north.

-- Steve in So. WI (Alpine1@prodigy.net), October 04, 2001.

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