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Water Distribution

From the filtration gallery of the Water Purification Plant, cleaned water flows to two on-site clearwells, from which the process of transmitting and distributing drinking water to our customers begins.


Storage Tanks

Approximately 85% of the water distributed to the city each day is used directly out of the distribution system. The remaining 15% is stored in one of three above-ground storage tanks located throughout the city. Most water storage takes place during the night when customer demand is lowest, ensuring plenty of water will be available to our customers during the high-demand daylight hours. To keep stored water fresh, the tanks are cycled at least partially every day.

By providing storage for water that is not immediately needed, these tanks help to create an equalizing effect on the water system by allowing some pumpage to be shifted from peak-demand to low-demand hours. They also contribute to public safety, by helping to ensure adequate flows will be available for fire fighting purposes.

The oldest of the above-ground storage tanks is located on Old Jacksonville Road. Built in 1966, this elevated model has a capacity of one million gallons. The second tank, on Factory Street, is a ground-level model built in 1976. It has a capacity of four million gallons. The newest tank, built in 1998, is a five million gallon "standpipe" located off Cockrell Lane south of Wabash Avenue. (View photos of the three storage tanks.)

CWLP's three storage tanks fill and discharge their water in different ways. The elevated Old Jacksonville Road tank "floats on the system," meaning it discharges or refills based on reductions or increases in the system's water pressure. As pressure lowers, the tank discharges water; as pressure rises, the tank fills. No pumps are required by this tank. The Factory Street ground-level tank relies on system pressure for refilling, but requires pumps for discharging. Water can be discharged from this tank at a rate of about 6 million gallons per day. The Cockrell Lane standpipe can either float on the system or use pumpage, as desired, for both refilling and discharge.

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