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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: misc.consumers.frugal-living,,misc.rural
Subject: Re: Preparing for Power Outages?
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 02:29:31 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 26 Feb 2007 00:03:59 -0500, "Don K" <>

>"Michael Black" <et472@FreeNet.Carleton.CA> wrote in message
>> "Steve Barker" ( writes:
>>> Why fill the bathtub?  Does a power failure cause your water to quit?
>> The pumps at the filtration plant stop working if the outage is bad
>> enough.  At the very lest, it results in contaminated water.
>>  Michael
>I wonder what's in all those towers that look like giant golf balls.
>If the outage is bad enough, will gravity stop working?

Those "elephant balls" as they're known as around here are mainly fire
protection reservoirs for industrial and commercial sites.  At a few
thousand to a few hundred thousand gallons' capacity, they're but a
drop in the bucket compared to the demand of even a small town.
Serious water storage tanks capable of supplying days worth of water
are measured in the multi-million gallon capacity.  Our little town of
about 50k people recently built two 10 million gallon tanks that are
advertised to hold enough water for a few days.  These tanks are
perhaps 50 ft tall and large enough in diameter to stage a dirt track
race in.

What elephant balls that aren't associated with fire protection are
basically surge tanks, designed to lengthen the cycle of pumps that
supply the water and help stabilize water pressure.  One generally
doesn't want large pumps to cycle more often than once every couple of
hours, hence the surge tanks.

From very rusty memory, seems like the planners here use 500 gallons
per day per person as the design criteria for the water system.  500
or 100, can't recall which but I think 500.


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