That large water tank you just drove by may be holding something very different than you think.


Instead of numerous gallons of drinking water, a rustic-looking circular tank near Seventh Avenue in Hesperia will be built to hold telephone antennas transmitting signals to local cellphone users. And that creatively concealed tank could be just the beginning of a new trend in cell tower camouflaging.


Besides the "mono-pines" and "mono-elms" cellular antennas disguised as trees the city also has approved a free-standing sign that will house an array of antennas.


"Code requires them to be camouflaged or disguised," said senior planner Daniel S. Alcayaga. "Cell phones are becoming more and more popular, so I do expect for us to get more applications for wireless communications facilities."


"We're going to have these cell towers around for a long time," Hesperia Planning Commissioner Joline Bell Hahn said before the commission approved T-Mobile's conditional use permit request last week. "And we're going to have three or four cell companies using the same area."


The city has suggested the name "Hesperia Land and Water Company" be emblazoned on the T-Mobile water tank as a historical tribute to the community's original water company that was established in the 1880s, Alcayaga said.


The tank, which will be on property owned by the Hesperia Water District, will be located about 430 west of Seventh Avenue on the north side of Palm Avenue.


"It's similar to one that is in the Oak Hills area," he said. "It's a theme were trying to introduce."


According to Susan Chong, who represented T-Mobile at the Feb. 11 planning commission meeting, the water tank has to be 52-feet high to allow for optimum reception.


"We need to be above the trees," Chong said. "And that's one of the main reasons why we need to be as tall as we need to be."


Hesperia principal planner Dave Reno also attempted to dispel a neighbor's concerns over alleged health concerns from cell tower transmissions.


"Edison has done a great deal of research," Reno said. "No study has proven any health risks."


Reno agreed that more cell facilities should be springing up.


"People want their cell phones to work," he said. "They want them to work everywhere. For that these cell towers are necessary."