Remember that UN-USED Water Tower?

By:  Diane Benjamin

I found this while looking for something else.

The first time I remember writing about the Water Tower Bloomington built in Normal was August 2015:

I have no idea how much money was spent on that project, but many MILLIONS is probably close.  The only thing I knew for sure is water pressure in Towanda dropped when the tower was briefly used, so it was shut off.

More information is included in Book 2 of the budget just approved last Monday – PDF page 102

Remember when the water main broke recently in Normal and the entire Town was under a boil order?  The reason given was the water pressure dropped below IEPA standards.  From the budget information included, Bloomington had the same problem.  I wonder if a boil order was ever issued?

It looks like the tower was abandoned in 2005.  In FY 2017 the Water Department decided to investigate.  (12 years too late)  Note:  The Water Department didn’t know why the tower wasn’t used!

I wonder if anything would have happened if I hadn’t written about yet another government foe pah.

Tom Hamilton was City Manager, yes Jim Fruin I can blame him.  Hamilton is happily retired making more money than most people do working.  He is bringing home more than $11,000 a month

Maybe next year the City can figure out what to do with the Un-Used Fire station, also courtesy of Hamilton.

Here’s the budget report:

Northeast Elevated Tank

In FY 2017, the Water Department completed an investigation into the Northeast Tank to determine why it hasn’t been placed in routine service. The results of that investigation are as follows.

In the 1990s the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) became aware of low pressures in the transmission mains between the Water Treatment Plant and the Fort Jesse Pump Stations. These low pressures didn’t meet the IEPA regulations that require the water pressure to remain above 20 psi everywhere in the water distribution system. Correcting this violation was addressed in two stages by the City. One of the three transmission mains along Pipeline Road was modified to convey water from the discharge at the Fort Jesse Pump Stations north along Pipeline Road to the connection for the Town of Hudson. All other customers that were affected by the low pressures, including the Town of Towanda, were connected to this re-purposed transmission main as well.

The second stage of improvements was the Pipeline Road Water Main Project which started with planning and design in 1998 and construction which continued until 2005 when the project was halted.  The six phases of the project included additional transmission main along Pipeline Road to provide a combined capacity of 30 MGD, pressure control stations at the Fort Jesse Road water storage tanks and Division Street reservoirs, and elevated storage, the Northeast Tank, to supply water and maintain pressure in the water main when the Water Plant isn’t supplying water. The pressure control stations were planned to hold the required minimum pressure required in the transmission mains. When the project was halted in 2005, the Northeast Tank and all but two miles of the transmission main had been completed. Without the pressure control stations in service, the minimum pressure requirement can’t be guaranteed at all times in the Pipeline Road transmission mains and the Northeast Tank can’t be put in service as planned. The Pipeline Road Water Main Project has not been completed as approved by the IEPA in the initial project planning documents and the low pressure problem has not been corrected completely.

The Water Department’s investigation into the Northeast Tank has determined that the design for the pressure control stations was never completed and a capital budget item, Pipeline Rd – Division E – Pressure Valve Control Stations – Design, has been included in FY 2018 for the design of these essential components of the Pipeline Road Water Main Project. Construction of the improvements is planned for FY 2019 as the budget item, Pipeline Rd – Division E – Pressure Valve Control Stations – Construction.

5 thoughts on “Remember that UN-USED Water Tower?

  1. Scottie, see what happens when you don’t plan ahead and complete necessary construction for future use? Chalk it up to youth and lack of life experience.

  2. I find this HIGHLY amusing! ANYONE who has ANY education in hydrology KNOWS what the “standard” height for a water tower is! It’s consistent throughout the WORLD, on LEVEL ground. HOW an engineering firm OR a council or mayor or manager could APPROVE this BOONDOGGLE is just a case study in plain don’tgiveacrap!!
    Just go on the internet and look for “Water tank height” .. You need 130 feet to generate enough pressure or basically you get ONE kilopascal per 10.2 cm.

  3. EXACTLY what I mean, most ANYONE can do the math! Soooo, WHY???
    Did ANYONE do their MATH when this water tower was built? SOMEONE should have caught it along the way. And these folks SUPPOSEDLY run our fair city…
    I’d REALLY like to hear Tari’s or Hales EXCUSE for this one…

Leave a Reply