Hot on the heels of the refurbishing of the Howard Avenue water tower in Elmira, the tower on Floradale Road is now being overhauled.
Work started last week and is expected to run through June. The tank is now offline while crews work on maintenance and painting.
While the tower is out of service, Elmira’s water system will receive its pressure from the booster station located below the spheroid water tank on Howard Avenue. The station will maintain pressure in the distribution system, with Woolwich engineering staff saying it is unlikely residents will notice any difference in water pressure unless there is a malfunction. In the event of a power outage or similar incident, homes may experience a period of minimal water pressure.
The Elmira west tank now offline usually provides the town with water pressure, said Bob Brown, water and wastewater supervisor with Woolwich’s engineering and planning services.
“Water comes in to town via the [Howard spheroid water tank], down Arthur [Street] and then it goes out and fills that tower. As water rises in elevation it rises in pressure, so we actually use the pressure from that elevated tank [Elmira west tank] to supply the pressure for the town. Now we’ll be using pumps, which are what they used before the tower was built,” he explained.
Previous maintenance measures have already been carried out on the Howard Avenue tank. In November 2012 it was surrounded by scaffolding and concealed by tarps for re-surfacing, completed in December.
This time the west tank near Floradale faces similar maintenance measures, with the recently-refurbished tank acting as a buffer for the township’s water.
“You would never want to be working on two water sources at the same time: you always need some backup. When you do have two towers it’s important to always keep one in service,” he said.
According to the Region of Waterloo, MacDonald Applicators Ltd. will be handling the re-coating of the tank.
Brown said the tank is not in bad shape when it comes to appearance, the region’s decision is likely a preventative measure.
“It looks good, but you know what? When it starts to look bad then it’s more to paint,” he said.
He added the project came at a strategic moment in the season; just in time for the spring flushing which took place April 22-24. Staff used the excess water – which had to be drained prior to painting the tower – for the annual three-day spring flushing of the township’s watermains.
“It worked out pretty well for us. Water is an important commodity and it’s quite expensive.”