Sometime this fall, about 650 homes on South Hill will enjoy increased water pressure once a new water tower is complete.
The $3.2 million project is scheduled to be finished by Dec. 5, but Fruitland Water Company General Manager Ted Hardiman said it could be done as early as October.
The company-owned land, located on 74th Street near 112th Street East, once housed a 100,000-gallon tank, built in 1963, that served the area. However, Hardiman said the gravity-fed tank “served its time and was pretty dilapidated.” It was torn down in favor of the new facility.
The company is building a 30-foot-tall, 1 million-gallon tank with a booster pump station. With five pumps, it will provide up to 3,800 gallons of water per minute, Hardiman said.
“It will raise water pressure and provide better fire protection,” he said.
Hardiman said the project has been in the works for nearly 20 years, and it took a long time to purchase the required property and to complete the engineering.
“We were getting to the point where we needed (additional water pressure) to meet our future build-out,” Hardiman said.
On average, customers who will be served by the new tower and pump station currently have 45 pounds per square inch of water pressure. The new facility will boost that to about 63 pounds per square inch.
“It will be a noticeable difference, for sure,” Hardiman said.
Instead of buying chlorine, the facility will make its own chemical, Hardiman said.
“We just have to buy salt,” he added. “In the long run, it will be cheaper and easier on the pump equipment.”
The tower and pump station will serve customers bordered by state Route 512, 128th Street East, Woodland Avenue East and 86th Avenue East.
Hardiman said Fruitland Water gets its water from aquifers. The aquifer that serves the new facility is located about 218 feet below ground.
“We are lucky we have a strong aquifer in this area,” he said. “We have not seen a decrease in the amount of water for years.”
The water company currently has five wells that provide water to its 12,000 customers across 6 square miles on South Hill. The company employs eight.
“We are all really excited about this project,” Hardiman said.Tom McCrady is a freelance reporter for the Herald.