Columns » Blake Pontchartrain: New Orleans Trivia

Blake Pontchartrain: water towers

Two new water towers store water to prevent a pressure drop in city water lines

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Hey Blake,

My curiosity prompts me to ask you about the tower under construction at the Sewerage and Water Board facility on South Claiborne Avenue. What is the structure and why is it needed?

Lee

Dear Lee,

  That huge tower, which will be visible from South Claiborne Avenue, and another one closer to the rear of the Sewerage and Water Board's (S&WB) Carrollton Water Treatment Facility, are designed to prevent what is a common occurrence in New Orleans: a boil water advisory.

  According to The New Orleans Advocate, each of the twin 200-foot-tall towers will be able to hold up to 2 million gallons of water. In the event of a loss of electrical power, the city says water from these towers will surge into the system to prevent loss of pressure, which normally is what triggers a boil-water advisory.

  The elevated tanks are designed to complement two new ground-level tanks and allow pressure to be maintained for up to 45 minutes, even if the water system loses power. The $48 million project, which is funded by FEMA, is expected to be finished next year. The tanks will be slightly shorter than the chimney already located at the S&WB Claiborne Avenue facility, but they still would be among the tallest structures in New Orleans outside of downtown.

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