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What is Going On in the Kawameeh Swamp?

August 2nd, 2015

SwampPiers-800There are many strange and wondrous things happening in the Kawameeh Swamp in Union, New Jersey, near the Kawameeh Junior High School.

People from this area in Union, New Jersey expect many off-beat weird things, but this must be one of the unexplained wonders. It is a swamp, so expect these things: reed grasses, water fowl, Kawameeh Junior High School, power lines.

However, see the strange pilings in the swamp! What is that? Remnants of an ancient boardwalk? Dock space for recreational boating? Easy access for World’s Tallest Water Sphere site-seers?

If you know the use or have photos of these pilings, please send them to this site.

So Big, So Blue, So Beautiful

July 26th, 2015

Lakeway Blue TowerHere is another big, blue, beautiful water sphere from Lakeway, Texas (near Austin).

Notice that this is a true water sphere, in fact it looks like a miniature version of Union’s World’s Tallest Water Sphere! See the navigation lights and the the lightning arrestors at the top. Also see the two rings for safety harnesses at the collar. It would be awesome of Cirque d’Solei to do some flippin’ stunts around this one.

I have to congratulate the folks in Lakeway. They have not one, but two true water spheres. They have impeccably maintained them with fresh paint. They are so shiny they must have just had a wax job. They also have provided a nice contemplative space at the base, complete with beautiful landscape, stone and wrought iron arches, ADA compliant sidewalks, and wonderfully clean grounds.

Gloom and Lasers

January 10th, 2015

Gloom and LasersHere is a dark and moody photo of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere that we call “Gloom and Lasers”

Notice the red laser guns firing as yellow explosions light up the base of the WTWS. Despite the blasts, the water tower remains firm and resolute against the nighttime Union skyline.

Thanks to our intrepid reporter Gina Signorella-Arlen for keeping us up-to-date with our first photo of 2015. Please send you contributions to our web master email.

Rocket Destroyed, Water Tower Survived

November 1st, 2014

Wallops Island Water Tower 2014This week on October 28th, 2014, an Antares rocket of the Orbital Sciences Corporation exploded on take-off at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The rocket malfunctioned and was purposely destroyed. This photo shows the burn marks on the launch pad and the adjacent water tower.

We reported on the Wallops Island water tower earlier. We are happy to report that the 287 foot tower constructed in 2011 was only slightly damaged and survived the nearby conflagration.

Self Portrait with Water Sphere

October 18th, 2014

Scott and Water TowerHere is a beautiful self-portrait of a man and his water sphere.

This has got to be one of the best water tower photo angles I have seen. It almost looks as if the tower is in front of his face. Is it going to hit him in the head? Will he dodge the blow? Is the face looking down on a 1/72nd scale model of a tower?

The water sphere is on the property of the Moog Corporation in East Aurora, New York.

Engineers must feel proud working on the site of a true water sphere that is so well maintained.

Photo provided by Scott P. Shafer

Nice Watersphere in Pierron, Missouri

October 12th, 2014

PierronWS
This nice water tower from a September 2014 trip shows the Pierron, Missouri tower from US Interstate 70 near St. Louis. The tower is a true water sphere. I wonder why light blue is a common color. Perhaps it blends with the sky. Perhaps it suggests clean water. Notice also the convenient location of cell phone antenna.

We salute this wonderful water sphere!

Twin Towers

September 23rd, 2014

Twin water towers in MissouriHere is a photo for all water tower lovers that will have you seeing double. This photo was taken from a September 2014 road trip. The location is I-44 somewhere in Missouri (probably around Springfield). The prison assures humane treatment by providing redundant twin towers.

Note that the towers are not water spheres but rather spheroids. Still that does not deny their nice placement and the designer’s double vision.

Some Intense Commentary

March 20th, 2014

Every once in a while there are some posts about the Union water tower that get me thinking about the intensity of thoughts and the enduring imprint of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. This post is over two years old, but for this site, it is the first time we have read and commented on it:

People from all over the world that visited Union back in the day remember the cold blue steel hanging over the town like the Trinity bomb did over the New Mexico desert.

For me, it is a reminder of the cold war days, just like those Saturday morning air raid test sirens and nuclear blast drills in grammar school.

The imagery and the intensity of the comment really strikes me. Like the author, I am a baby-boomer and experienced the Cold War days, the air raid sirens, and the nuclear blast drills. “Duck and Cover!” I have the image of Union’s water tower in my mind and in my heart with many happy and poignant experiences. However, I do not associate the water tower with the Cold War or nuclear blasts.

This web site has instructed me for many years, that the experiences and the impact of Union’s water tower has affected many people much more strongly than many other public utilities.

Fear No Sphere

January 12th, 2014

Our intrepid reporter Gina Signorella-Arlen sends in this report from December of 2013.

“Like Big Brother from “1984,” the WTWS is always watching… This time its likeness popped up at Monster Golf in Union, NJ.”

The artist is unknown, but if you find the name, please email, and we will update this article with the artist.

We love the black-light influenced glowing colors. The idea of Jack climbing the beanstalk and getting a drink of water from the “World’s Tallest Water Sphere” is ingenious too!

Blue Sphere, Blue Sky

December 30th, 2013

WTWS on Christmas 2013

WTWS on Christmas 2013

Here is a view of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere on Christmas Day 2013. This was a partly cloudy day around 30 degrees. Look at those clouds!

This photo show the grounds surrounding the WTWS from above. Notice the area is relatively clean and free of graffiti. The service buildings and asphalt looks in good shape too. The sky and trees look wonderful.

However, look at the state of that paint job. It looks like black mold on the underside of the sphere, and any semblance of a shiny auto paint job has left. Consider all the value the tower provides: five rows of mobile antennas, a navigation light, and fresh pressurized water for all the community. Time for a paint job.

Thanks for another year of browsing and supporting the World’s Tallest Web Sphere web site. I still have some reader contributions in the queue, and we hope to get to them soon.

Some Beautiful Painting in Rosemont Illinois

November 16th, 2013

Here is a link to a video about water towers from the Today Show. In Rosemont, Illinois, there is a nice water tower with a great “rose and stem” paint scheme. Notice the multifunction tower with its water supply and mobile antennas functions, and also the classy artistic paint scheme. Great water tower.

Also notice, not a water sphere.

Today Show on Water Towers

Nice Water Sphere Paint Scheme – Lakeway

July 28th, 2013

Shown in the photo is a nice water tower from Lakeway, Texas, just west of Austin. The tower is mostly light blue with a nice white golf ball with painted dimples at the top. What make the paint scheme so nice is that this water tower is a rarity – a true water sphere. The golf ball theme would look downright silly on a water spheroid.

The town of Lakeway has done a nice job with its water sphere. The paint is fresh, bright, and glossy. The tower is located a nice green hillock, right near the center of town, easy for all passerbys to see. There is a nice vent and signal light at the top. Like the Word’s Tallest Water Sphere, there are two collars near the top so stunt people can perform acrobatics, and space invaders can perform mind-control.

If you see a nice water sphere in your area, please take a photo and send it to the web master of this site, and we can feature it in a similar article. Be sure to include the location, time of photo, and any strange history of the water sphere.

I Spy the Giant Eye

July 19th, 2013

Here is a recent contribution from one of our biggest fans, Gina Signorella-Arlen:

Austin Water Treatment Plant Tower

April 14th, 2013

Austin, TX Water Tower DownHere is a photo from November of 2009 of the dismantling and cleanup of the Austin Green Water Treatment Plant in Austin, TX. This photo looks south with Caesar Chavez Blvd. and Lady Bird Lake in the background.

This water tower was a true water sphere. Not very tall, but notice the wonderful circularity of its dome. The tower was nicely maintained with very-well-done ghostly white for its mantle. This photo also gives a rare glimpse of the maintenance and access ports above a water tower, something that only birds and people in planes can spot.

Doink! The fallen tower has landed on the cement pipes. Better get that backhoe to clean things up.

Veteran Police Officer found dead in Kawameeh Park

April 10th, 2013

A 25 year veteran of the Union County Police Department was found dead in Kawameeh Park, near Kawameeh Junior High School, in the vicinity of Union’s World’s Tallest Water Sphere. The 50 year old officer was found seated on a metal bench on the softball field at Kawameeh Park around 8 a.m. on 2013/04/10.


Nj.com “Veteran police officer found dead”

The Sunset of Water Spheres

April 6th, 2013

Water sphere near BaltimoreAs mentioned in this blog, the old style water spheres are no longer built and are a dwindling piece of American history. Today water spheroids are the more popular water tower, and the old “sphere atop a mast” style are no longer build.

Reader Greg Pyne sends this photo of a lovely-but-rusting water sphere spotted along the highway near Baltimore Maryland. Greg writes: “On the way back to Baltimore today, we noticed this poorly maintained water sphere just north of exit 8 of the New Jersey Turnpike, near the community of Twin Rivers. Perhaps some sort of fundraiser could be held to help restore this water sphere to its original glory. After all, while it may not be the WTWS, it still deserves to maintain its dignity. ”

We fully support the sentiment. A beautiful tower but in need of a paint job. Perhaps some mobile phone antenna and a light beacon will make the “Big N” loved again.

Plaque on a Bridge

April 2nd, 2013

Here is a bronze or copper plaque near the World’s Tallest Water Sphere. This plaque is embedded in a bridge guard rail. I love the green verdigris color of the plaque, the green mossy color spilling below, and the tan/pink sand and gray aggregate of the concrete. Also note the Grecian columns and borders of the plaque. This must be important.

WTWS with Geese

February 18th, 2013

WTWS with geese 2012/12/27This is a view of the World’s Tallest Water Sphere with some geese on 2012/12/17. The geese love the warm and wet field and seem to feed on anything that happens to be hopping in the grass.

Notice some nice color bands on the bottom half of the photo. Brown, beige, and green. Notice gray sky and gray tower on the top half.

Winter Swamp

January 25th, 2013

This time of year the Kawameeh Swamp is frozen. Plant-life is bare. Reeds are brown. Sky is gray. The World’s Tallest Water Sphere continues its work: pumping water from the aquifer, purifying water, storing water, and giving water pressure to all.
Reeds in the Swamp

The World’s Tallest Water Sphere in 2013

January 1st, 2013

This photo shows an aerial shot of the WTWS from a Boeing 737 taking off from Newark Liberty airport at about 8:00 in the morning of 2012/12/30. The altitude is 2000 feet or so, looking south. A 2 to 3 inch covering of snow from the previous day lays on the ground.

The sphere is visible in the center of the photo. Ponds of the Kawameeh swamp border the left and top of the tower. Route 22 and the Garden State Parkway border the bottom. Light could cover obscure many of the houses, but the WTWS shines through clearly.

Enjoy this rare aerial sighting and the rest of 2013.