Water system repairs on the horizon

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 10, 2003

Ironton will begin a major overhaul of the city's water system as phase one of the water tank replacement project is set to begin within a few weeks, City Engineer Joe McCallister reported to the Ironton City Council Thursday.

Phase one of the $1.6 million project will replace the existing storage tank with a 2 million gallon tank on Nixon Hill, east of State Route 93 and north of U.S. Route 52.

The new tank will set higher off the ground so it will provide better water pressure to some areas that needed it, such as houses along State Route 141. Currently, the city uses about 1.3 million gallons a day, he said.

Email newsletter signup

Problems with the 85-year-old Clear well No. 1 were detected between two and three years ago. The city has patched the 4 million gallon tank several times, but it is leaking again, McCallister said.

"On a scale of 1 to 10,

this is a 10.5," he said of how badly the tank needed replaced. "If you get 60 years out of one, you are doing great."

Although it probably will not happen, if the tank was to fail some areas in the city would be out of water for a couple of days, water pressure would be low, the city would have to issue boil water advisories and some areas could be out of water indefinitely until the tank was replaced, he said.

The telemetry equipment will be relocated to the outside of the old water treatment plant and the clearing project and electrical relocation should go to bid within a few weeks, he said.

Bids to replace the tank should go out by June 1 and received a month later. Actual construction could begin at the end of July and the tank could be operational by November, McCallister said.

In the meantime, the city will pay $2,200 to have a diver inspect the tank. They will videotape the inspection and the diver may be asked to return and repair it if absolutely necessary until it is replaced.

Overall, the three-phase project will cost approximately $3.2 million dollars and will construct three water tanks to replace the current one. Phases one and two could be completed by the end of 2003 and phase three sometime in 2004, McCallister said.

In September, Council applied for funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission's State Capital Improvement and Local Trans-portation Improvement Programs.

The city applied for $600,000 in Issue II funds. Half the funds are a grant and the other half are a zero-percent, 20-year loan.

These funds would be used with $300,000 in Empowerment Zone.

funding from Community Development Block Grants, Empowerment Zone funding, ARC Grants and Issue II funds could be used to finance phases two and three.

Phase Two, costing approximately $600,000, could construct a 500,000-gallon tank in the north end of Ironton. Phase Three may build a 1.5 million gallon tank in the south end of town. The exact locations and sizes of these tanks are still being finalized, McCallister said.

This would probably be more than the city needs but could allow the city to sell water to Hecla and Coal Grove, although no discussions have been made, Cleary said.