Repairs to Clear Well No. 1 tank complete

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 14, 2004

Nearly 90 years old, the Clear Well No. 1 water storage tank may make it

to the century mark after repairs were completed Friday.

Pro Diving Inc., an Akron, Ala.-based company, completed the week-long repair to the city's 4.5-million gallon concrete water tank that was built in 1917 on Nixon Hill off State Route 93.

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The tank leaked nearly 400,000 gallons of water every day, costing the city more than $5,000 a month, according to estimates by Mark White, superintendent of the city's water treatment plant.

He estimates the tank wi;; be usable for five or 10 years after it was repaired.

The tank repair started Monday and all the cracks were sealed by Thursday. A construction joint was the cause of most of the leakage. It had been missed in previous repairs by another company, City Engineer Phil Biggs said Thursday.

"The indications are the leakage has stopped significantly," Biggs said. "My anticipation is by (Friday) morning there will be very little leakage."

Biggs estimates that the leakage would be reduced from 400,000 gallons a day to 80,000, which he considers a success.

As the tank was drained to less than four feet of water Friday morning, Biggs actually got in a boat

to inspect the repairs and condition of the inside of the tank.

"I am amazed at the quality of construction those guys did in 1917," Biggs said. "It just blows my mind."

By Friday, Biggs said the leakage had been reduced by at least 75 percent and may get better over the weekend as the repair material sets up in the cracks.

Pro Diving was awarded an original contract of $23,461, but the project actually cost approximately $20,876 because of less diving time than expected.

To address another problem, Biggs indicated that an alley between S. Third St. and Cedar Alley between Center Street and Park Avenue will be closed because a hole has become worse. Another hole one block down the alley between Second and Third streets and a massive hole on Railroad Street also need fixed.

Council authorized Mayor John Elam to formally apply for $159,791 in grant funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission and solicit bids for repairs to four holes in city streets and for a sewer line video camera.

Using the grant funds, the city would like to purchase a sewer camera for $65,400. It would allow city employees to pinpoint water or sewer leaks.

In other business, Randy Lilly announced the fifth annual Volunteer Cleanup Day will be Saturday, May 1. Volunteers can meet at the riverfront at 9 a.m. to get started on the project that tries to refresh the downtown area and the city entrances by planting flowers, trees, shrubs and performing general cleanup.

"It is an opportunity for everyone to get out and give something back to the community and not ask for anything in return," Lilly said.