“This is just a continuation of us trying to improve the system to better serve our customers,” Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb said.
The new tower will hold 806,000 gallons of water, and will add to an existing 180,000 gallon tower on Belle Hill in Wheelersburg to serve customers of Portsmouth Water Works in the Porter Township area.
“The other tank (at Belle Hill) was a lot smaller tank, and the smallest water break would quickly drain that tank. Or if power was out, we couldn’t fill it and it would run dry pretty quick,” Kalb said. “It was being pumped all the time. I don’t think it ever really filled up.”
He said the Belle Hill tank provided only about an hour’s supply of water to residents in the area. When the new tank is complete, there will be approximately one day’s supply of water in reserve.
Kalb said planning for the new water tower began two or three years ago, reaching its final stage Wednesday.
“This project includes the road going up to it. We had to clear it out and build the road to it, and of course the plumbing to the existing lines. They already have the basin there now,” he said.
According to the City of Portsmouth, the cost of the water tank and road is $691,000, and it is expected to be finished by the end of October. Howerton Engineering and Surveying was the project engineer, working with contractors from MidAtlantic Storage System.
Kalb explained that the top of the tower would be built first, and it would be raised by continuously adding sections to the bottom.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.