Goodbye water towers

St. Charles Parish water tower in Des Allemands.
St. Charles Parish water tower in Des Allemands.

Although they became landmarks in St. Charles Parish, three water towers will soon disappear from the parish’s skyline – forever.

“The demolition of these towers will actually improve water quality by reducing the life of the water,” said Robbie Brou, the parish’s waterworks director. “Water in a water tower ages.”

The council approved $150,000 to demolish towers in Des Allemands, Montz and St. Rose.

Brou said there are no plans to replace these structures, which are elevated tanks with height sufficient to pressurize a water supply system for the distribution of potable water. They had started causing water quality issues when in use and weren’t necessary anymore.

They’re scheduled to be gone by later this year or early next year. All three were built in the 1960s and have been out service for a few years, he said. This would leave one tank in service in Taft that holds 500,000 gallons of water.

“When towers were first built, there was less pressure and smaller distribution lines to the farthest points in the parish so they served as localized storage and a backup for pressure to get water to those areas,” he said. “Now that the parish has the river crossings (pipelines that connect the East and West Bank water), storage is centrally located (East and West Bank water treatment plants). This capability also provides for additional pressure.”

Brou said the parish has 10 million gallons of storage between the two facilities.

On an average day in 2017, the parish has demand for about 8.3 million gallons of water.

Historically, these typically mushroom-shaped, elevated structures date back to the 19th century.

The original water tower builders were barrel makers because original towers were wooden.

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