PA American Water Taps $17M in Upgrades

THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2021

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania American Water announced a $17 million plan to rehabilitate 11 of its water storage tanks and construct an additional seven new structures throughout the year.

“Properly and proactively maintaining tanks benefits our customers because of the cost efficiencies we can achieve by rehabilitating rather than replacing them,” noted the water utility company.

About the Projects

According to Pennsylvania American Water, rehabilitation of the tanks will involve various inspections, sandblasting and recoating efforts to extend service lives and further protect the water quality. During this process, crews will strip the original paint and apply a new coating, which serves as a protective barrier that prevents the steel from rusting and impacting water quality.

Pennsylvania American Water notes that customers’ water service should not be affected by the projects.

“Storage tanks are critical to meeting the supply demands of our customers and providing fire protection for our communities,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Properly and proactively maintaining tanks benefits our customers because of the cost efficiencies we can achieve by rehabilitating rather than replacing them.”

The following storage tanks to be rehabilitated and repainted include:

  • Baldwin Borough, Allegheny County – 350,000-gallon;
  • Camp Hill Borough, Cumberland County – 2-million-gallon;
  • Crystal Lake, Luzerne County – 1-million-gallon;
  • Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County – 3-million-gallon;
  • Menallen Township, Fayette County – 1-million-gallon;
  • Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County – 430,000-gallon;
  • Sinking Spring, Berks County – 250,000-gallon;
  • Union Township, Washington County – 5-million-gallon; and
  • Union Township, Washington County – 350,000-gallon.

To provide additional water storage capacity, the company will also be constructing seven new ground storage tanks in the following municipalities:

  • Abington Township, Montgomery County – 300,000-gallon;
  • Lehman Township, Pike County – 223,000-gallon;
  • Lehman Township, Pike County – 214,000-gallon;
  • Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County – 500,000-gallon;
  • Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County – 300,000 -gallon;
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – 1-million-gallon (two); and
  • Parkesburg Borough, Chester County – 750,000-gallon.

The new tanks are slated to help PA American Water to deliver reliable water service to meet customer demand and provide fire protection. During the past five years, Pennsylvania American Water has invested more than $40 million to maintain, rehabilitate and construct water storage tanks.

As a whole, American Water employs more than 7,000 employees and services more than 15 million people across 46 states, making it the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. Since 1886, the company has been dedicated to providing regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services.

Other Recent Tank News

Recently, the San Diego County Water Authority’s five-million-gallon concrete water tank was reported to be progressing, however, the construction project was disturbing hikers wondering the Mission Trails Regional Park.

A silver lining to the project’s disruption, once completed, is that the flow regulatory structure will be buried, completely hiding the infrastructure, returning the park’s peace and quiet.

The tank, also known as the Mission Trails Flow Regulatory Structure II (FRS II), is reported to be just a piece in a collection of projects in the area referred to as the “Mission Trails Project.” Back in 2010, a new pipeline tunnel, removal of existing blue vent stacks and a new all-weather crossing of the San Diego River was completed.

According to reports, the project first began taking shape in December 2020 with the installation of wall sections. At the time, crews were preparing to begin work on the Flow Control Facility itself. However, the project was halted in wake of the coronavirus pandemic and was relaunched in February of this year.

Once completed (sometime in early 2022) the tank will be capable of holding enough water to fill seven Olympic-sized swimming pools. The concrete facility will also be covered with soil and vegetation upon completion to match the surrounding landscape, except for access hatches and above-ground vents to allow for air movement in and out of the reservoir.

In April, the Mayor of Tallassee, Alabama, John Hammock reported that the city would be using some of its COVID-19 stimulus package money to fund the recoating of a downtown water tank. In total, city is expected to receive well over $800,000 from the most recent stimulus package.

According to reports, once the federal dollars are in the city’s possession, officials expect to begin work pretty quickly. The downtown water tank would require being taken down, blast-cleaned inside and out, recoated and placed back into position. The water tank will be repainted using the same logo that was recently painted on the Tallaweeka water tank, and what it planned to be coated on all of the highly-visible water tanks in the area.

The city estimates that the blasting and coating of the tank would cost $500,000-700,000. Any remaining funds from the project are slated to go back into the city’s water system, or into a telemetry system or Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition. SCADA is a software package positioned on top of a real-time control system to control external processes, while telemetry is a technology that allows the remote measurement and also reporting of information of interest to the system designer.

Hammock reports that the city is 25 years behind in terms of technology in its water infrastructure sector, with officials having to manually check pump stations daily. The upgraded system would allow officials to monitor in real-time from cell phones, computers or tablets.


Tagged categories: Maintenance coating work; Maintenance programs; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Upcoming projects; Water Tanks; Water/Wastewater

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