Case Studies

Demolition – Water Tower

The Project

The iconic 150 ft tall water tower was a visible landmark at the north end of the Hanlon Parkway in Guelph for many decades. No longer in use, the owner contracted a demolition company to remove it. For speed and safety, it was decided to remove the tank and reduce it on the groud. Paul Ransom engineering was engaged by the demolition contractor to provide engineering services and oversight to support the demolition Permit. A designated substances survey was conducted by a third-party consultant for the owner. Site space was limited by the owner’s ongoing operations.

Our response

We conducted a search of company archives to locate original design documentation. The results were limited but provided sufficient information for an engineering review of structural stability and develop safe deconstruction procedures. Plans and drawings for rigging and disassembly stages were prepared.

Crane selection, site planning and surface preparation for the 300 tonne mobile crane were coordinated with the crane supplier. Public safety zones were established into the adjacent properties.

In order to expedite the crane time, three of the six legs were cut the day before the lift. A 3-point sling arrangement was used to support the tank. Once cutting was started on the final three legs, the lift was committed to proceed.


A safe and successful deconstruction was performed. The tank was cut apart at ground level rather than at 150 ft in the air. This provided a low-level, safer work environment for savings on personnel high-lift equipment and a reduced schedule.