Posted on 20 July 2011.
What Is a Water Tower: An Introduction
We see water towers all of the time, yet many of us are unsure what exactly they do. Just what is a water tower, anyway? Put succinctly, a water tower is an elevated water storage system that we use to pressurize and distribute our water.
What Is a Water Tower: The Purpose of Water Towers
Domestic water supplies must be pressurized if they are to be considered safe. Insufficiently pressurized water can cause a slew of problems. Insufficiently pressurized water may not be able to reach the upper floors of buildings, or to spray forcefully enough. More dangerously, insufficiently pressurized water that flows over hilly areas may become negatively charge and suck in groundwater. This untreated groundwater is likely contaminated with microorganisms and harmful chemicals, and would pollute drinking water supplies. Water towers also help us by acting as a reservoir during peak water, or water shortages.
What Is a Water Tower: How Water Towers are Built
Water towers vary greatly in appearance and material. These pressurizing, elevated water storage systems have to be at least twenty feet tall. On average, water towers are about 130 feet tall. Water towers must be rounded, but can come in many shapes, like spherical and cylindrical. We can make water towers out of many different materials, like steel and concrete. However, we always line water towers’ interiors to protect water from absorbing these construction materials. Because water towers depend on hydrostatic pressure, they function even during power outages. Refilling the water tower, however, does require electricity. The water tower’s water supplies fall during peak hours, and then are refilled at night.
What Is a Water Tower: The History of the Water Tower
The water tower became popular during the Industrial Revolution, as growing communities recognized their need to pressurize and distribute water. Often these water towers were elaborately decorated—they were painted, or surrounded by brickwork or trellises. Many of these water towers are now perceived as architectural landmarks, and are therefore preserved for historical posterity. Today, many water towers form the highest point in several small towns, and they are therefore used as community rallying points. They are outfitted with antennae or warning sirens, and are sometimes used to advertise local happenings. In recent years, however, many people are switching away from water towers. Instead, they are constructing pumps on top of pipes to increase water pressure. While these pumps are more straightforward than water towers, they are potentially more dangerous. If the pumps fail, then the decreased water pressure might suck contaminated water into the domestic water supplies. What is a water tower? A safe device for storing and pressurizing water that is now being supplanted by less safe alternatives.
Posted in What Is/Are...?
Posted on 08 July 2011.
What is an isolation tank? You may have heard people talking about isolation tanks recently, but you may not know what they are yourself. An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank in which a person floats in skin temperature salt water. Isolation tanks employ sensory deprivation as a tool for meditation and relaxation. Some consider isolation tanks a form of alternative medicine. Isolation tanks go by many names, such as float tanks, sensory deprivation tanks, and floatation baths.
What Is an Isolation Tank: Tank Design and Use
Isolation tanks are designed to cut off all stimuli. The water in isolation tanks is filled with Epsom salt, which increases the water’s salinity and density, allowing users to float more easily with their faces above the water. Because the users’ ears float below the water, hearing is reduced. Other users use ear-plugs to further cut off sound. Users float with their arms by their sides, reducing skin sensation. To reduce smell, the water is treated as little as possible. The water temperature is carefully matched with the air temperature, cutting down one’s feeling of having a body boundary. In short, the isolation tank is designed to eliminate as many stimuli as possible.
What Is an Isolation Tank: How to Use an Isolation Tank
People usually use the isolation tank while naked. While users can technically wear swimsuits, this is discouraged because the elastic on swimsuits can uncomfortably compress skin, producing extraneous negative stimuli. Because the water should be altered by external forces as little as possible, users must bathe before entering the tank. After their isolation tank session, users must bathe again to cleanse their skin of the Epsom salt. For this reason, a shower is usually installed in the same room as the tank. This allows the user can switch directly from the shower to the tank and the tank to the shower.
What Is an Isolation Tank: The History of the Isolation Tank
The isolation tank was created in 1954 by medical practitioner John C. Lilly. John C. Lilly, a trained psychoanalyst, wanted to experiment with sensory deprivation. Several theories about sensory deprivation were circulating in Lilly’s. These theories held that the brain could go to sleep if all stimuli were cut off to it. Lilly decided to test these theories with the isolation tank, an experimental environment that would isolate the individual from external stimulations. He used this experimental environment to study awareness and consciousness. Experimenters at other universities continue his studies today. What is an isolation tank? A relaxation technique whose benefits are still being researched today.
Posted in What Is/Are...?