City Water Towers, blackouts, no pressure, and Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have a friend that lives in a small city (55,000). He is a G.I. of sorts, and has 5 each 55 gallon drums for water storage, along with 10 cases of individual 20 oz drinking containers of water, along with the food, 2 wood burning stoves, 5 cords of food, etc.

He lives on a side of town that is on a slight hill. He plans to use the water in the 55 gallon drums for "force flushing" his toilets if the power should go out. I mentioned that underground pumping stations might not be pushing sewage to the treatment centers, if there is no power, and how it could back up into his neighbors basements floor drains, sinks, etc. His reply was that if that happened, someone would have to prove it was his family that was at fault, and that would be an impossibility, so he wasn't worried.

I guess what I am wondering is, (as this is in the Northwest), if we have a really bad winter accompanied by an extended blackout, how long would it take one of those elevated city water towers to have the water in one of them freeze and turn to ice?

Also, could a city hold a citizen monetarily liable for "force flushing" if it caused a health problem in a neighbors home? Or could the affected homeowner sue the city for failure to have a contingency plan?

-- John (, September 27, 1999


If your city is like most, those big water tanks only hold enough for less than 24hrs of normal usage. I actually visited our local water plant and asked about capacities. I always thought that there was enough water in those big ole tanks for several days if not a week. Our local plant processes and pumps out 14 million gallons a day and the water tanks have a capacity of 11 million gallons.

Quite an eye opener|

-- Steve (, September 27, 1999.

As we get closer to this event, there is alot more talk of late on water and sewer, then on electric. When you consider the ( Master Utility List) with its main thrust on water and sewer, and some folks saying that the early talk on power failures was just a ploy to gather attention away from the real problem...John Q Public will flush as long as his goes down, woe to those who are at the bottom of the hill. Its one thing to tell folks not to water the lawn, its quite a defferent thing to tell the populous to stop sh-----g...---...

-- Les (, September 27, 1999.

Water towers are used primarily to maintain water pressure during demands exceeding a water treatment facility peak output. Best example is the case of a fire, several hydrants open at once creates a huge demand on the system.

Most plants have emergency generators for maintaing operations, but they are limited to fuel on hand.

-- JHyden (, October 08, 1999.

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