3-Million-Gallon Water Tank’s Leaking & Corroded Bottom Means Expensive Change Order

By Kathleen Sloan

HERALD Reporter

The cost of neglect was brought home again by the latest discovery made while preparing the city’s three-million-gallon water tank for renovation. The steel floor will have to be entirely replaced.

WH Pacific, the consulting engineer hired by the city for the water tank repair project, gave a report at the Tuesday, May 8, regular meeting of city commissioners.

Engineer Thomas Knowlton said the 35-year-old tank’s steel floor was so corroded it had holes in it, which has been leaking water. His firm, as part of their engineering study and administration of the project, will draw up inspection schedules and maintenance procedures to prevent such expensive corrosion in the future, he said.

Superior coatings and a “cathodic protection system,” which in turn protects the coating, “will elongate the life of the steel,” he said.

The city took out about $1.59 million in grants and loans, and $418,000 remains, said Knowlton. The cost of a whole new steel floor is about $318,000, he said. Knowlton said they negotiated an 18-percent discount with the contractor who won the bid for the repair, which is about $60,000 in savings, by pointing out the quantity of steel required.

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