In what was undoubtedly an act of poor judgement, I recently elected reinstalled Sim City 4. Now that my addiction is in full force, I'm wondering if there's an optimal placement for water pumps in my city. Will they lower property value if I place them near residential areas? Will water pollution be worse if I place them in industrial zones or will water pollution always be a problem near industrial areas, just like air pollution? Just where should I be placing those blasted pumps?

  • I can answer this from memory but cannot annoate any sources. please respond to this comment if you would like me to continue. :)
    – Ender
    Apr 23, 2012 at 18:12
  • @Ender, go right ahead. I've clearly slept and/or drank too much since the last time I played SC4 (probably about '06). I sure as heck can't remember the water pump rules now.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 19:37

2 Answers 2


As I remember it, water pump placement does affect certain aspects including but possibly not limited to:

  • If placed within the pollution area of industrial zones, the water is polluted.
  • If placed near landfills water is polluted.
  • If placed near 'Dirty' (Coal for example) Power Plants, water is polluted.
  • If placed near residential zones, property value is lowered.
  • If placed near water, output is increased. (I remember this being the case more clearly in Simcity 2000, however (Thanks to @Private Pansy) this doesn't seem to work in SC4)

Generally following these guidelines they are best placed somewhere near a natural water source some distance from the main body of your city. This is less of an issue than water towers because the distance the pumps effect is mitigated by piping. (Just remember to provide them with power.)

As stated in my comment, take this answer with a grain of salt. I've written it entirely based off my memory and cannot prove or source any of the information.

  • Actually, you're 100% correct about the pumps in SC2K performing better near water. Thanks for the info, though. I'll make sure to keep them in a clean area not near any residential.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 20:20
  • I'm very sure that last point there is false. The output of water pumps (and towers) are fixed, and are affected only by budget and pollution Dec 17, 2014 at 12:27
  • While I have no issue editing my answer to reflect accuracy, your being 'very sure' isn't enough to convince me.
    – Ender
    Dec 18, 2014 at 22:45
  • 1
    i.imgur.com/umBzeFA.jpg - as you can see, the positioning of the pump makes absolutely no difference Dec 19, 2014 at 11:43
  • @private pansy You know, it's one thing to add to my answer and correct an incorrect fact, it's entirely another matter to rewrite my entire answer. Don't forget, you can write your own.
    – Ender
    Jan 4, 2015 at 4:12

You can place pump anywhere where there's no water pollution. That's pretty much the only thing that matters with regards to placement of water pumps and towers.

Avoid placing pumps and water tower near areas of heavy water pollution, such as farms, heavy industry, polluting power stations, and landfills. Use the water pollution Data View to find areas without water pollution. Pumps placed in polluted areas will suffer from lower output and may shut down entirely. However, do remember that pumps require power to operate.

As an aside, only commercial and residential zones suffer from a lack of water supply. Connecting industrial zones and power plants with water pipes only reduce their likelihood of catching fire, and is usually not considered 'worth' the additional water usage to connect.

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