Upper Providence >> They dot the landscape — large cylindrical water towers the supply communities with their drinking water. Pennsylvania American Water has been rehabbing some of the towers it owns in the region and on Monday, the company provided a rare look inside one of its Upper Providence water storage tanks.
Crews are putting the finishing touches on rehabilitation work of the 1.5 million-gallon structure located off Black Rock Road. The rehab, estimated at approximately $485,000, began in July and included inspecting, sandblasting and repainting the tank to provide a protective barrier that prevents the steel from rusting and compromising water quality.
Since work began, crews stripped the original paint and applied a new coating to extend the lifespan of the ground storage structure. The tank was last painted in 1991.
“It is very important to properly maintain our storage tanks, because they are critical to the water infrastructure by ensuring that adequate, reliable water supplies are always available for the community,” Pennsylvania American Water Project Manager Ralph Wawrzyniakowski Jr. said in a press release. “Rehabilitation projects like this one not only extend the tanks’ lifespan, but they also represent a significant cost savings compared to replacing the structures.”
Monday’s tour was offered to fire officials and township personnel before the final steps are taken and the tank refilled. It included not just a look at the freshly painted outside, but a look inside, as well. Those who chose to enter the tank did so via a 36-inch diameter circular opening on the side of the tank.
The tank was disinfected on Wednesday, according to Pennsylvania American Water spokesman Terry Maenza.
“We are currently in the process of refilling it. Once we take water samples and submit to DEP, we need their permission to put the tank back in service. We anticipate mid-October to bring the tank back online,” he said.
During construction, the company maintained normal operations and customers experienced no water service disruptions.
Last year, Pennsylvania American Water rehabbed and repainted an adjacent 1.5 million-gallon storage tank at the same location. The two structures are among seven storage tanks the company operates in its local service area to supply drinking water for approximately 16,000 customers in Montgomery and Chester counties.
This project is among the 13 storage tanks that the company is rehabbing this year across Pennsylvania, which represents a capital investment of nearly $6.8 million. Pennsylvania American Water owns and maintains more than 290 storage tanks statewide.
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest water utility in the state, providing water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.3 million people. The company provides service in 36 counties across Pennsylvania, including portions of Montgomery, Chester and Berks. Approximately 670,000 water and wastewater customers are served in Pennsylvania, including approximately 49,000 in Montgomery, 12,000 in Chester and 21,000 in Berks counties. For more information visit www.amwater.com.
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