Mechelen-Zuid water tower

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Mechelen-Zuid water tower
Watertoren Mechelen-Zuid
Watertoren Mechelen-Zuid.jpg
The tower in 2010
Mechelen-Zuid water tower is located in Belgium
Mechelen-Zuid water tower
Location within Belgium
General information
Type Water tower
Telecommuncatins tower
Location Mechelen, Belgium
Coordinates 51°0′39.86″N 4°27′47.40″E / 51.0110722°N 4.4631667°E / 51.0110722; 4.4631667Coordinates: 51°0′39.86″N 4°27′47.40″E / 51.0110722°N 4.4631667°E / 51.0110722; 4.4631667
Construction started 1978
Tip 143 m (469 ft)

The Mechelen-Zuid water tower is a 143 metre high, combined water and telecommunications tower constructed in 1978. Since 1979, it has supplied the water to the city of Mechelen, Belgium, while also hosting television and telecommunications aerials. The concrete spire passes through a wide disc holding water fifty metres above the ground. Higher up, a smaller disc supports telecommunications equipment. Topped by a decorative stainless steel tube, it is claimed to be the highest water tower in the world.[1]

Planning, design, and construction[edit]

This water tower was built to supply an increased demand for water due to the growth of the Mechelen population, and of industry around the city. In March 1977, the City commissioned a design for a water tower with telecom purposes from local engineering firm ITH, who contacted Professor Fernand Mortelmans (University of Leuven),[2] who had been involved with the water tower at Mechelen's northern industrial estate.[3] [map 1] The tower was constructed at an estimated cost of 85 million Belgian francs in 1978.[5]

The circular foundation is formed by 127 piles supporting a 19.6 m diameter concrete foundation slab up to 3 m thick at the centre which is 3.2m below ground level. It supports a tall conical hollow shaft of reinforced concrete which rises 120 m above ground level. The base is 9.2 m wide with a constant 0.65 m wall thickness to 44 m above ground at which point the shaft funnels outward to a thickness of 1.84 m over a 7.8m distance,above this is a 1m high and 10.64m wide ring beam which supports the water tank, a shallow bi-conical structure 40 m in diameter of 2,500m3 capacity. Above this container the towers's wall thickness is 0.50 m thick, diminishing to 0.20 m; it reaches the smallest diameter of 3.40m at 120 m.[5] The top of the tower is capped by a 20 m decorative stainless steel structure which narrows from 170 cm to 65 cm at the top,[5][6] which supports a red warning beacon, a 3m pole of 15 cm diameter, and a lightning rod.[5][6]

The main body of the supporting shaft was built up by slip forming. Around it, the water tank was constructed in prestressed concrete at ground level: Stiffness is provided by 0.35 m thick walls, which subdivide it into sixteen sectors. The 0.30 m thick tank bottom is angled at 17° to the horizontal, the top surface is shallower. The container was raised into its final position by cables: once in position the lifting cables were used to support the tank body from the ring beam on the shaft, being tensioned within concrete columns. Finally the base of the tank was concreted to the tower shaft.[2][5]

Other equipment[edit]

A 10 m diameter platform at about 100 m supports the radio transmission equipment, other telecommunications equipment (Parabolic antennas) were positioned above the water tank.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Stadsflora Mechelen-Zuid", Plantaardige Nieuwsbrief (in Dutch), Natuurpunt vzw, Belgium (1): 26, 2010, retrieved 2011-08-29  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ a b Mortelmans, F. (1980), "Water- en antennetoren te Mechelen.", page 109, quote : "Om het probleem van de drinkwatervoorziening van de stad Mechelenopte lossen werd in 1963, in het industriepark Noord te Walem, een eerste watertoren gebouwd. In 1977 werdeen tweedetoren geprojecteerd in het industrieparkZuid; hiermeeis dewatervoor- ziening van de stad Mechelen opgelost ... In de loop van maart 1977 werd door de stad Mechelen aan het Studiebureau ITH opdracht gegeven tot het ontwerp van een water- en antennetoren. De schrijver van dit artikel werd door het studiebureau verzocht als technisch raadgever op te treden, teneinde een ontwerp uit te werken, de algemene stabiliteitsberekeningen op te stellen en de uitvoering te begeleiden. De aanbesteding had plaats in september 1977.Detoren werd officieel ingehuldigd op 15 september 1979. De aannemer, fa. Van Hout uit Vosselaar, heeft de toren in een record tempo gebouwd."
  3. ^ De Borger, Jelle (July 2008), "'We leefden toen in een zeer interessante en boeiende periode' dixit Fernand Mortlmans" (PDF), Geniaal (in Dutch), Faculty of Engineering Sciences & VILv, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2), pp. 2–3, retrieved 2011-08-29 
  4. ^ "Industriepark Mechelen Noord", (in Dutch), Erfgoedcel Mechelen 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Water and Telecommunication Tower Mechelen, Belgium" (PDF),, Vorspann System Losinger (VSL) International, January 1979, retrieved 2011-08-30 
    "2.2.4. Water and Telecommunications Tower Mechelen, Belgium", Concrete Storage Structures (PDF), VSL International Ltd., May 1983, pp. 14–16, retrieved 2011-08-30 
  6. ^ a b Mortelmans, F. (1980), "Water- en antennetoren te Mechelen.", page 113, "4. De roestvrij stalen mast", quote: "De roestvrij stalen mast - De mast bestaat uit een mantel van roestvrij staal ... Dedoorsnede aan de top is 65 cm, aan de basis 170cm ... Bovenop dit uitschuifbaar mastje is een bliksemafleider en een rood lichtbaken geplaatst"



  1. ^ 51°03′34″N 4°27′27″E / 51.059509°N 4.457521°E / 51.059509; 4.457521 Mechelen-Zuid Watertoren in Mechelen Noord industrial park. Concrete 55m high.[4]

External links[edit]