From the description this sounds like a WJWL water-cooled condensing unit, which has a shell & tube condenser...referred to in the old days as a condenser/receiver.
The refrigerant flows through the shell and the water through the tubes so there a significant liquid storage capacity with these condensers. I found some specs which indicate that this unit would have a pumpdown capacity of about 42 lbs...not bad for a 3 HP unit. ;)
Here's a drawing:
We have quite a few of these and I was always told to charge to clear the glass. Make sure your water regulating valve is set properly and it'll be all good.
Ice- our old timer calls them a "pump and dump" system. Have you guys ever heard that?
It reminds me of when my father installed a number of commercial A/C systems in New Hampshire using chilled water coils and city water...which came from wells and was a constant 50ºF all year round...and all it went to directly to the sewer. They worked pretty well actually. When they started metering the water usage in the 1960's, he got to install cooling towers or air-cooled condensers.
The Pump & Dump was popular a few years ago...but I'm starting to become a family man.
What about the bumper dumper? http://www.bumperdumper.com/bumper2.htm