The Maidstone water tower in Lakeshore is being decommissioned.
The tower, located beside County Road 22, between Patillo Road and the roundabout in Puce, hasn't been used in three years.
The Municipality of Lakeshore said in a media release this week that officials will monitor the tower for safety until it needs to demolished.
While water towers such as the one in Lakeshore are well-known as local landmarks, the function they perform in the municipal water system is perhaps a bit more obscure.
LISTEN: Why water towers matter
Barbara Robinson, a private infrastructure consultant, explained on CBC Radio's Windsor Morning Friday that water towers exist to store water to help meet peaks in demand.
"Water towers are an essential component of a water system," she said.
All municipal systems need storage, either underground or above.
"That water tower is basically redundancy and safety for the water system," she said.
Robinson said the stored water is also needed for firefighting and emergencies. And yes, she said, the water they hold is drinkable.
Lakeshore's Municipal Council considered a report on rehabilitating the tower at its April 20 council meeting, but decided to take a different course due to costs.
"The Municipality of Lakeshore is acting responsibly in decommissioning old infrastructure and planning for the future. While there are costs to decommission the Maidstone Water Tower, the costs to bring it back online are much greater. It would be fiscally irresponsible to do otherwise," Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain said in a media release Wednesday.
The town is instead going to build what's known as a trunk main from Puce Road to Wallace Line.
The town said the tower's rehabilitation cost would be $1.9 million, versus $1.25 million for the trunk main.