Located adjacent to the superintendent’s house, the water tank/tower was approximately 75’ tall and had a capacity of 50,000 gallons. Water to the tank was taken from a deep well pump located near the power house adjacent to Penn Mary #1 mine. The water from the tank would be gravity-fed into the houses in town as well as into the fire hydrants placed thoughout the town.
One of the responsibilities of the Heilwood maintenance crew was cleaning out the inside of the water tank periodically. The pumps that provided water to the tank would be stopped and the complete tank drained. Once the tank was drained, one of the maintenance crew would climb down inside with a wooden scraper and proceed to scrap the sides, removing any accumulated sludge. Usually, he would also have to remove the various carcasses of animals and birds that had become trapped inside the tank and perished. Once this process was completed, the tank would be flushed, drained and refilled with water.
One of the actual workers who used to have to climb down inside the tank commented that, “If people could see what we removed or scraped from inside the tank, they would not drink the water.”