While water systems’ materials and designs have changed, the basic gravity-fed concept used by the Romans remains the same. (Nancy Bell, 2013 nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places, retrieved from Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Resources Inventory)
Standing above the city, the historic water tower is one of at least 22 extant water towers in Mississippi designed and constructed by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company; Hernando’s was built in 1925 (Bell). The tower is approximately 100 feet tall and held 50,000 gallons of water. It was in use until 2009 when the growing population of Hernando resulted in the need for a larger capacity tank and a new one was constructed away from the downtown area.
Bell described the tower:
…hemispherical bottom elevated water tower..conical roof and kettle bottom…fabricated in steel plates…set on ‘Z’-braced steel legs.
The hemispherical bottom was a design that followed the flat bottom, and reduced stress on the tower. The tower was funded with a bond issue to raise the $20,000 needed to build a modern water system, including fire hydrants and underground pipes to transport water to every business and home in Hernando (Bell). The tower is significant as an historic landmark in Hernando, and as the first water system improvement.