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Tourist question

I'm just back from a 5-day journey to New-York, which I enjoyed very much. One thing I am wondering is what are all these tanks on the top of the builidings for ? Hot water ?

Guy
Friday, May 30, 2003

I think those are water tanks.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, May 31, 2003

I can't help but feel a bit like a tourist every time I go to Times Square. I plan on taking my sister there to see the life size t-Rex in Toys R Us.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Cold water, not hot.

I think it's because otherwise you wouldn't have enough water pressure from the pipes to get the water up to a high floor.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, May 31, 2003

So how do they get the water up into the water tower?

I think you could get water in a trickle up to the top floor, but without much pressure. So just like your toilet bowl, there's a pipe that brings water in to the tower, but it's gravity that supplies the pressure as it's escaping.

Then again, there's no water tower on my building and I have great water pressure... Then again I'm in Brooklyn.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, May 31, 2003

If NY is like the rest of the world you pump the water up to the tank.

You could pump it direct to each apartment but it would probably be more complicated.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I'm not a New Yorker (Londoner actually) -- but we were on the Circle Line tour (boat trip round Manhattan) and the guy said they were there by law for fire fighting purposes.

Duncan Smart
Sunday, June 01, 2003

Huh. I've never seen or heard of those things being used to fight fires.

If the building's ablaze, how do you get to the roof to turn it on?

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, June 01, 2003

Er, I guess there's a pipe from the top of the building to the bottom?

Duncan Smart
Sunday, June 01, 2003

"the law required that there be at least 3,500 gallons of water stored on the premises for firefighters' use"
http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/studentwork/cns/2002-05-15/645.asp

Duncan Smart
Sunday, June 01, 2003

Oh... They feed those little Y shaped pipes that stick out of the buildings that everyone loves to sit on. Kewl.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, June 01, 2003

That's what I love about this city... It was built before people had figured things like like how to make an efficient subway or a water system... yet they both work when you need them.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, June 01, 2003

The tanks on top of the buildings are to make people feel safer, like the national guard in the subways.

Ah, police state humor.

Gustavo W.
Monday, June 02, 2003

Sorry, but a guy in uniform with an M-16 - in his hands no less, not even holstered away - does not make me feel safe. Even if you are joking, I think it's insane.

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, June 02, 2003

What, lots of people carrying guns doesn't make you feel safe? That's a bit unpatriotic of you isn't it? :-)

Anonymous Pacifist
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

You can love your country without loving the people who run it. Of course, the PUSA would love to have you think otherwise.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

The Y-shaped pipes that people sit on are called standpipes.  They run up through the builiding stairwells.  If there is a fire, the firemen run a hose from the hydrant (perhaps through a fire truck that increases the pumping pressure) to the standpipes.  the pipes fill with water, and the firemen then do not need to run a hose from the ground to the 9th floor to get to the fire.  They simply carry their hose up the stairs and hook it to the standpipe on the 9th floor and the water is there.

This is how it was explained to me at the security guard job I had in college.

I have no idea if the rooftop tank connects to the standpipes or not.

Ran Whittle
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

That's funny. I  wrote ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/deadprogrammer/103005.html?nc=7 )  about water tanks and wooden architecture  ( http://deadprogrammer.livejournal.com/106126.html?nc=6 ) just a while back in my journal.

The water tanks are actually huge wooden barrels. The water is pumped to the top by an electric pump. Smaller buildings don't need the water tanks because regular pressure from the water main is enough to get the water to the highest floor.

Hydrants and standpipes are fed from special underground water mains some of which contain water at a very high pressure.  They are not fed from the tanks.

There is a lot more information about New York's infrastructure in "Underneath New York" by Harry Granick.

deadprogrammer
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

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