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Canadian Water Towers and Standpipes
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How They Work
An elevated water tower operates by gravity and must be at or near the highest point of the area it serves.
When consumers use less water than the system is pumping, the excess water goes into the water tower through an intake pipe. When they use more water than is being pumped, the water starts flowing out of the tower through a different pipe.
A valve in the water tower monitors the level of water in the tower to prevent an overflow.
Water districts also store water in underground tanks and other types of facilities.
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Conserving Water and "Watery" Facts
Good water is a precious resource, essential to our survival. It is important to care about using water wisely so there will be enough for future generations. By using water wisely, you help ease the burden on water treatment plants, storage and distribution facilities. That means utilities can delay building new facilities, which can be expensive. Reducing the amount of water consumed in the region allows money that would have otherwise been spent on expanding water supply infrastructure to be used for other projects such as drinking water treatment.
- Save money
- Save energy
- Protect the environment
- Ensure water for future generations
General Tips on Conserving Water

Check out the many easy ways you can save water (and money), both in and outside your home. Be Waterwise ... Don't Waste a Drop!

Toilets (33% of indoor water use)
- Low flow toilets save 6L per flush
- Ultra low flow toilets save 14L per flush
- Checking for leaks can save 1400L/month
- Water displacement devices can save 12-100L of water per day, depending on the device (stainless steel inserts, toilet dams, save 100L/day)

Baths & Showers (25% of indoor use)
- Low flow showerheads save 8L/minute
- Shorter showers help conserve water
- Filling the bath only half full saves 80L +/bath
- Putting a stopper in the tub before starting the water saves 20L/bath

Washing Machines (24% of indoor use)
- Full loads and shorter cycles save 95L/load

Faucets (12% of indoor use)
- Turning the faucet off when it is not needed can save 10-40L/day
- Installing a flow restrictor or a faucet aerator can save up to 20L/day
- Checking for leaks can save 47L/day (2L/hr)

Dishwashers (6% of indoor use)
- Full loads on a shorter cycle saves 28L/load
- Dishwashing by hand and rinsing in a dishpan can save 32-60L per load

Lawn/Garden Care (75% of outdoor use)
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. An hour of sprinkling uses 1300L of water and since no more than 2.5 cm can be absorbed, watering for longer is no benefit to your lawn. By changing from 3 hours of watering to 1 hour of watering, 2600L of water can be saved.
- By watering only those things that grow water isn't wasted on the cement. With the correct positioning of your sprinkler, 10-35L /minute are saved.
- Choose drought tolerant plants, less water is required and savings can be 10-35L/minute.
- A hose with the water running uses 23L/minute, by using a spring-loaded nozzle you can save up to 16L/minute.
- A soaker hose placed at the base of plants on the ground applies water to the soil where it is needed, rather than to the leaves, and reduces evaporation.
- Water in the cooler parts of the day, less water is lost to evaporation.
- If you aerate, apply compost and weed your lawn, less water will be required.

Other Outdoor Water Activities
- Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car, and use the hose only for rinsing. The hose uses 23L/minute where as using a bucket can help you save at least two minutes worth of water (46L).
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks. A hose uses 23L/minute.
- Use water toys and outdoor "kiddy" pools to cool off, instead of the sprinkler. A sprinkler uses 1300L/hour so the savings can be astounding.

Estimated Water Use For Fixtures And Appliances
Fixture/Appliance Range of Liters Used
Toilet flush 6 to 30 liters per flush
Fraction of leaking toilets up to 30 percent
Showering 5.7 to 18.9 liters per minute
Bathtub 115 to 190 liters per full tub
Washing machine 170 to 190 liters per cycle
Dishwasher 40 to 55 liters per cycle
Bathroom faucet 7.6 to 11.3 liters per minute
Car washing approx. 400 liters per car
Lawn watering 10 to 35 liters per minute
Slow steady drip 280 liters per week
Fast drip 750 liters per week
Steady stream 3,785 liters per week
Source: American Water Works Association

The Bottom Line
Water conservation. The message is clear. If we each save a little, it can add up to major savings in water, energy and money. For the average household, reductions in water use as high as 40% or more are feasible, just by following the steps outlined in this issue in the Freshwater Series.
The benefits don't stop at the household or business. The municipal water and sewer department gets a break on the amount of water it has to pump to our homes and businesses and on the amount of wastewater it has to treat in sewage treatment plants. Water conservation can extend the useful life of municipal water supply and treatment plants, and will benefit the operating efficiency – and life expectancy – of private septic disposal systems.

And, finally, water conservation can generate significant environmental benefits. It can reduce water diverted and the pollution loadings on our lakes and rivers by reducing the volumes of wastewater which we have to treat. This can help to protect our drinking water and the ecological balance in sensitive aquatic ecosystems.

If we all practice water conservation, everyone – and everything – benefits.

"Watery" Facts
It takes about 4 liters of water to process a quarter pound of hamburger.
It takes 6,000 liters of water to process 120 liters of beer.
It takes 148,000 liters of water to manufacture a new car, including tires.
Ten liters of water are needed to refine one liter of gasoline.
1.5 million liters of water are needed to produce a single day's supply of U.S. newsprint.
It takes about 3 million liters of water to grow an acre of cotton.

80 percent of the earth's surface is water.
97 percent of the earth's water is seawater.
2 percent of the earth's water supply is locked in icecaps and glaciers.
1 percent of the earth's water is available for drinking.
Water covers nearly three-fourths of the earth's surface.
The overall amount of water on our planet has remained the same since creation.
The five Great Lakes form the largest fresh surface water system in the world.
If all the water in the Great Lakes were spread evenly across the continental US, the ground would be covered with almost 3 meters of water.
Most of the earth's surface water is permanently frozen or salty.
Every 24 hours about 1 million cubic kilometers of water evaporates from the sea and the land
Of all the earth's water, 97 percent is salt water found in oceans and seas.
Over 90% of the world's supply of fresh water is located in Antarctica.
The world's rainiest place is Mt. Wai'ale'ale, Kauai, Hawaii. During an average year, there are only 15 dry days.

Our food
An egg is about 74 percent water.
A watermelon is about 92 percent water.
A piece of lean meat is about 70 percent water.
Fresh, uncompacted snow is usually 90-95 percent trapped air.
You can drink more than 4,000 glasses of tap water for the price of a six-pack of soda.
About 26,000 liters of water are required to grow a day's food for a family of four.
It takes about 23 liters of water to grow a single serving of lettuce. Almost 10,000 liters are required to produce a single serving of steak.
A tomato is 95 percent water.

Our body
The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water.
A person can live without food for about a month, but only about a week without water.
About 60 percent of the weight of the human body is water.

Life expectancy
There are billions of water molecules in a single water drop.
Once evaporated, a water molecule spends ten days in the air. At room temperature water is a liquid.
When heated to 100 degrees Celsius it becomes a gas. (steam).
When cooled below zero degrees Celsius it becomes a solid (ice).
Water is heavier as a liquid than as a solid which is why ice floats.
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Add a new tower / Copyrights
Please sent us any water tower pictures you may have taken in your own community or on your travels through Canada. All pictures used will be properly credited. Photographs submitted by mail will be scanned and returned to sender, if requested.

Digital photos may be send as an email attachment (.jpg or .bmp format only please) to
Regular photos may be mailed to
Water Towers
615 Artreva Cres.
Burlington ON. L7L 2B8
© 2004, 2006, 2009. Photographs on this site are protected by Canadian and International copyright laws. Do not copy, reproduce or redistribute without written permission.

If you would like to license or use one of our photographs in your book, newspaper, magazine, web site, newsletter, or advertisement, please contact us for specific information and rates. Soon all images from this site will be made available as Stock Photos from our companion site CSP Canadian Stock Photos.

All dated pictures (lower right hand) are taken by and the © property of All-Inspec Ltd. Wherever possible, contributors are acknowledged. The source of some pictures is unknown. If you believe that you are the rightful owner of a picture on this site let us know in writing (e-mail) and we will investigate your claim. Credit will be added or the image removed.
We do not condone, and will not tolerate copyright violations
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And the winner is ................
Make a selection, then use the back button in your browser to return here. Do not use the "Back to Top" link.
Most northern water tower 91.73 Km's. above 60th parallel Haines Junction, Yukon
Most southern water tower More south than north California! Kingsville, Ontario
Elevation Highest city in Canada Airdrie, Alberta
Tower with highest volume 7,600,000 liters Toronto 3, Ontario
Standpipe with highest volume 27,276,540 liters Waterloo, Ontario
Tallest spherical water tower 57 meters Mississauga 1, Ontario
Tallest composite tower 54.86 meters Listowel, Ontario
Tallest standpipe - masonry 38 meters Waterdown, Ontario
Tallest standpipe - steel 46.32 meters Caraquet, New Brunswick
Oldest tower still in use Since 1907 Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Oldest standpipe still in use Since 1891 Cambridge, Ontario
.... CAPITAL OF .....
Bean Capital of The West Bow Island, Alberta
Tomato Capital of Canada Leamington, Ontario
Canada's Irish Capital Miramichi, New Brunswick
Chocolate Capital of Canada Smith Falls, Ontario
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Contact Information
Sending pictures Missing or incorrect information
Send tower pictures by regular mail to:
Canadian Water Towers
615 Artreva Crescent
Burlington ON. L7L 2B8

or as an email attachment in .jpg format to:
Information found on this site should be accurate and up to date. Each listing, where possible, should have the following information: Location, Age, Height, Diameter, Capacity, Water source, Tower history.
If you have access to this information we would like to hear from you.
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