Bemidji Water Tower

Bemidji, MN

The City of Bemidji’s average daily water use of 1.2 million gallons per day (MGD) in 1985 had increased to 1.5 MGD in 2000. The two existing water towers—one 500,000-gallon and one 250,000-gallon—were not providing adequate storage for the community’s demand. WSN conducted a complete analysis of the water distribution system, including a hydraulic analysis (Cybernet model), of several options for a new tower site.

Using the Cybernet model, WSN evaluated three possible sites in combination with various piping configurations to determine each site’s potential impact on the distribution system. WSN recommended a 1,000,000-gallon tower to accommodate growing demand and provide more flexibility for future projects. The analysis also revealed that the single 12-inch line crossing the Mississippi River was a bottleneck in the distribution system that would be exacerbated by future water demand. WSN recommended that the City plan a new water main that would provide a second river crossing and maintain uniform water levels among the three towers.

The City used the hydraulic analysis to select a site and proceed with construction. The new water tower provides storage toward the end of what had been a long, 16-inch dead-end line, improves fire flow capacity in areas of anticipated growth, and is integrated into the existing distribution system and main feeder corridors.