New York Rooftop Sunset. 2012.
“Water towers in New York are everywhere. Just look up and you’ll notice on top of New York’s buildings round, wooden structures that look like ancient relics from the past that were accidentally left there. The water towers in New York might look old and yes, they are, but they encompass the past, present, and most likely the future. As New Yorkers reached for the skies in the 1800’s, water towers became an intricate part of the buildings’ framework. As buildings grew taller than 6 stories, the main water infrastructure couldn’t handle the water pressure. Water towers were needed to move water safely to the 7th floor and above. Although they looks like remnants of the past, they are still very much in use today. Most are made of wood, but some are made of steel. Steel tanks cost more to build and maintain and offer less insulation, so wood is the material of choice for most. Wood acts as a natural insulator, preventing the water from freezing in the winter. Using gravity to help supply the water pressure, water is fed to pipes throughout the building, providing water for everyday use like showers and drinking, as well as extinguishing a fire. The water tank works similar to a toilet. As the water level recedes from use, a float valve will allow more water in, refilling the tank. The water is pumped up from the basement using electric pumps. The tanks hold about 10,000 gallons of water (37,854 litres), with a reserve for emergency use. It’s a simple concept that has little changed throughout the century. This system may be “old” but it sure is reliable.” - Free Tours By Foot