That un-used water tower

By:  Diane Benjamin

The ONLY reason I know the Bloomington water tower in Normal isn’t used is because I FOIA’d the water flow through all towers.  That one came up -0-:

Information on this tower is close to non-existent.  This waste of money was before the Fire Station #5 fiasco.  I’ve searched the City website and the Pantagraph archives, I found NOTHING saying when the tower was filled and activated it had to be shut off.  Instead of increasing water pressure, pressure dropped because it wasn’t built tall enough.  The City evidently never tried to recover costs from anybody or it would have been a news story.

Below is what I did find in the Pantagraph archives:

-In January 2004 the Bill Wills (writers actually used their names then!) wrote an editorial praising George Drye (Bloomington’s director of engineering) for the new water tower built in Normal.  He actually called it “a breath of fresh air” because both Bloomington’s and Normal’s names were put on the tower.

-The land was bought in March of 2000, it was meant to eventually hold 3 water towers.

-The City borrowed $8.6 million from the Illinois EPA.  The project included a 12-mile water transmission line from Lake Bloomington to the new tower.

-The tower took 8 weeks to build – May 2003.

From the City of Bloomington website:

waterOnly one water tank is mentioned.  Did the city have to add pumping stations since the tower was useless?

The $8,600,000 included the tower.  How much did the tower cost and how much was the water transmission line?

I don’t have a clue.  Maybe Tari can answer at his next Open House.  Email and ask him to have the info ready!

If the local paper ever did investigative reporting you would already know.  They don’t, so you don’t know.

Here’s who was running the City at the time:  FY 2003 CAFR




9 thoughts on “That un-used water tower

  1. well..perhaps Karen Schmidt could enlighten us. I’m sure she studied the project before voting. unless of course she just went with the majority…. for the good of the town..


  2. A water tower NOT tall enough? How ironic! That’s Hydrology 101! Google it!
    A standard water tower typically has a height of approximately 40 m (130 ft). Pressurization occurs through the hydrostatic pressure of the elevation of water; for every 10.20 centimetres (4.016 in) of elevation, it produces 1 kilopascal (0.145 psi) of pressure.
    And as such one of the FIRST things you study in Hydrology! Obviously this wasn’t in the blew prints! Someone Blew it! I would think at LEAST Matejka would have read that?


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