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City’s water tower has outlived its useful life

GLENWOOD CITY — According to City Public Works Director, Doug Doornink, the city’s water tower has “outlived its life expectancy.”

The 240,000-gallon capacity water tower, which is located on a hill just off Third Street on the north side of the city, was constructed in 1983. Back then the city had received a Block Grant for public improvements. That grant included spending up to $244,000 for the construction of new water tower to replace their sixty-plus-year-old, 60,000 gallon steel tower.

In April of 1983, the city council accepted the bid of $98,000 for the glass lined Harvestore silo type structure. The council favored it over a welded steel tower, which was bid in at $86,330, because they felt that it would require less maintenance.

In fact the tower has had less maintenance and the discussion at Monday night’s council meeting was about the necessary repairs to the tower. Kevin Oium, with Cedar Corporation informed the council that the tower would be emptied later this month for those repairs. He noted, “This is the first time the tower has been drawn down.”

Doornink noted to the council what repairs were needed to the structure and also pointed out that these are just temporary repairs and that there is water running down the side of the structure.

There are a couple of problems with drawing down the tower and that is the city will have to depend on relief valves installed on a couple of fire hydrants to control the water pressure in the mains and the city will be without water storage for fire protection during the time the tower is being repaired.

One other problem that has surfaced is that there is no valve in the ten-inch water main to isolate the tower. Apparently when water mains were installed in Blue Sky Drive the original valve was bypassed. Oium told the city council if a new valve is not installed, then when the tower is drawn down, homes on Blue Sky Drive will be without water. The council approved spending two to three thousand dollars to have a v installed.

During the discussion about the water tower, Doornink told the council that he favored a conventional elevated tank. He noted that water pressure in fire hydrants near the present tower is just 20 pounds and indicated that was below state standards. Oium noted that because of “such variances in elevation,” the city has low water pressure in some areas and high pressure in other. Doornink noted that at the trailer park there is one hundred pounds pressure.