What’s the difference between a Water Tower and a Water Tank

What's the difference between a Water Tower and a Water Tank

You may be thinking of installing a new water supply system for yourself or your business, but should you use a water tower or a water tank? Water towers are landmark features because people can use their vase shapes to locate places around the city. Usually, concrete water towers have different designs and sizes. However, the primary function of a water tower is to add pressure during water distribution. On the other hand, a water tank helps store potable or harvest rainwater. In this article, you’ll learn how a water tower is different from water tanks.

There is a significant disparity in height

Usually, we see water towers that are about 50 meters (165 feet) tall and roof-mounted water tanks. The length difference of both reservoirs is night and day. Sometimes steel scaffolds are used for supporting water tanks. However, the water tower is an elevated concrete structure with a tub of water.

Storage Capacity

Water storage tanks that are between 2,500 to 10,000 gallons have the biggest range of size from manufacturers. Generally, the size of any plastic water distribution tank determines the strength of the scaffold. While a pump station sends millions of gallons of water to the tower’s reservoir, its gravitational force ensures stable hydrostatic pressure for distribution. Most concrete water towers have capacities of over 5000 m3. Unlike occupants of buildings that rely on water tanks, residents of communities depend on distribution systems like water towers because of their large capacity.

What's the difference between a Water Tower and a Water TankPurpose of Supply

Generally, water towers act as municipal systems for water distribution to farms and buildings. Water for human consumption, gardening, and fire-fighting are common ways of utilizing storage tanks at home. However, the purpose of constructing water towers with reservoirs varies accordingly. Consequently, power stations use water tower with cooling systems for their equipment. While generating energy, this equipment emits heat, and cooling towers can regulate their temperatures. Apart from cooling, water tower use centralizes pumping and pressurization methods to ensure steady distribution to consumers.

Materials for Design

The architecture of concrete water towers ensures the use of water retaining materials. Typically, these reinforced concrete designs for water towers might vary from 1,000 to 5,000 m3. From the reservoirs’ roof of a water tower to its floor slab, engineers use concrete as materials for design. While concrete water tanks are old methods of storage, other materials include fibreglass, plastic, and galvanized steel. However, all water storage systems with pipes for supplying drinking water should comply with plumbing and building standards.


Generally, municipal water towers have heavy-duty pumps and water treatment plants. It’s often a different case for the setting up storage tanks in residential or commercial buildings with regular electric pumps. When a high-lift pump pressurizes tower tank’s water, it’s through the primary feeder pipes consumers get water. Unlike pumps for water tanks, your municipal water tower might need a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump to sustain water consumptions during peak periods. However, the set up for water storage tanks in residential buildings are simpler than giant municipal water towers.


Before supplying water for consumption, regular disinfection of water ensures a clean storage tank or reservoir. Usually, chlorination helps to reduce the concentration of harmful bacteria even. At home, a separate water tank can harvest rainwater for fighting a fire. By harvesting, we mean collecting water from rainfalls with roof gutters, and pipes. It’s a cost-effective option of storing water to fight fires. Also, using rainwater for fighting fire is cheaper because it eliminates the cost of adding chlorine-like potable water. We are yet to identify any local water tower that collects rainwater.

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