What is that thing on the hill? 

Described as looking like everything from a lighthouse to a comic-strip rocket-ship, it is usually noticed looking north from Clubhouse 7 or the Tennis Center or the Golf Driving Range.  It actually is perched atop the knoll to the north between Cul-De-Sac 306 and Via Serena South. An unmarked dedicated concrete walkway climbs to it from Via Serena South. Villagers can hike up the walkway (good exercise) and/or use the area around its base as a scenic outlook.

Okay.  But what is it?

It is a Surge Tower above a potable water pipeline owned not by our El Toro Water District, but owned jointly by several other water districts and operated by the South Coast Water District.  Since Laguna Woods Village’s water comes from the El Toro Water District, this Surge Tower is on a pipeline that crosses our land but does not supply water to us.

So what does it do?

The Surge Tower relieves pressure and vacuum fluctuations caused by the flow of water within the pipeline as it goes up that hill and back down.  Such balancing ensures structural integrity of pipes and mitigates pressure surges from pumping stations.  The Surge Tower infrequently has overflowed as it was designed to do.  Excessive pressure rarely forces water all the way to the top of the Surge Tower and out the screened band just below its silo-type roof.  Otherwise the pipes could rupture and require major underground repairs, which would inconvenience villagers.

You can save this webpage information by download this PDF on the Surge Tower.