History at walnut country
There is a lot of history in our neighborhood. Read more about:
While not entirely historical, Walnut Country features two water tanks that provide water and its pressure to hydrate the acres of landscape that keep our community so beautiful throughout the year.
One water tank is located in the center of the Greenbelt, just south of the lower tennis courts. The second water tank is located on South Larwin Avenue across the street from River Ash Court and Stone Canyon Court.
Weeping/Leaking Water Tanks?
This Central Water Tank supplies irrigation water to the Central Greenbelt area, plus some areas to the east and west. It is made of thick redwood planks, held together by metal banding. All irrigation water for the Central Greenbelt area comes from this Water Tank.
The tank is filled with a combination of water from an underground well, that goes down about 200 feet, and from Water District water, which is potable water, similar to that supplied to Crossings’ homes. The level of water in the tank is measured by the vertical scale on the tank, which shows a maximum of 15 feet. A computer system controls when Water District water needs to be pulled into the tank. Water from the well is pumped into to tank at all times, unless the tank is filled.
Water is released for irrigation during most evenings, when irrigation timers call for water. The demand for water is much greater than the volume of water that can be supplied by the underground pump; thus, Water District water must be pulled into the tank, during the night, to supplement water being released from the tank. A booster pump ensures proper water pressure for the irrigation system.
At times, the tank may not be fully filled. As such, the redwood boards near the top dry up a bit. Then, when the tank is filled, the top of the tank will “weep” in ways that make it appear like the tank is leaking. In fact, the redwood boards are expanding and sealing. The temporary loss of water during this process is of no concern.
There have been debates from when the tank system was first installed as to whether this water tank system pays for itself. In fact, the water pumped from underground only supplies about 20 percent of the total irrigation water demanded in the Central Greenbelt. The general consensus is that the costs of the pumping system more than offset the cost of Water District water that we would, otherwise, have to pay for.
Greenbelt Water Tank
The Cowell Smokestack was removed on June 15, 2009. The Smokestack was built as part of the Cowell Cement plant in 1936 to replace eight smaller stacks; this smokestack reached 235 feet. The Smokestack was actually a cement stack designed to ensure cement dust would be spread far from the surrounding farmland.
Fondly recalled as a landmark for pilots landing at Buchanan Airport and locals to know that they are almost home, the Smokestack was removed because it had become a safety hazard with falling cement and a major earthquake danger.
In the Smokestack’s place is a memorial in the Greenbelt.
For more information, please visit the following sites:
- Smokestack Pictures Before Demolition
- Smokestack Pictures During and After Demolition
- Smokestack Demolition Blog
The Cowell Firehouse was built as part of the town of Cowell that existed where the Walnut Country community resides today. The firehouse is located at the end of Prairie Willow Court.
The Cowell Historical Society has these great pictures of the firehouse on its website: http://cowellhistoricalsociety.org/html/firehouse.html. For more information, contact the Cowell Historical Society.