In Water Supply

We’ve all must have seen this guy before…

Smiley Face water tower in Ashley, Missouri

The happy water tower giant that lurks in our communities

Why do they put smiley faces on water towers? It doesn’t necessarily make me feel more happy. I mean, there are many other options for water tower art. At least writing the name of the town would provide some utilitarian benefit… you would know exactly where you are. Maybe, due to the tight municipal budgets, the smiley face art is all cities can afford at that point.

This could possibly be a good Master’s degree thesis paper… “the psychological affects of smiley face water towers on community happiness”, or something like that.

So why can’t city planners and civil engineers get a little more creative in terms of how water storage tanks look and are designed?


Actually we do and the industry is constantly innovating water tank design and aesthetics. Another thing to realize is the fact that painting or coating water storage tanks serve a greater purpose… it allows the steel to last much longer and provide a better investment for the community. Not only is the outside painted, but the inside of the water storage tank is painted with NSF approved coatings that keep the water from touching and eroding the steel.

The Steel Tank Institute gives out the Water Tank of the Year Award. Here are some winning tanks from their competition plus some other interesting tanks:

Illuminious water tank

4.0 million gallon thermal energy storage tank in Sacramento, CA

City of Lynden painted water tank

City of Lynden, WA steel water tank

the iconic striped water tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Water tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Corn cob water tower

Water tank in Joliet, IL

Water tank in Rosemont, IL

Trucker Mike provides a good number of water storage tank images. I guess he is snapping these pics as he drives down the highway.

Oh, and if you can’t get enough of the smiley face water tanks, here are some more for you. Enjoy!!

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