WILMINGTON, MA — At the most recent Wilmington Selectmen Meeting, Town Manager Jeff Hull provided the Board with a memo from DPW Director Mike Woods outlining plans for a $2.3 million water storage tank replacement project on Nassau Avenue.
The existing water storage tank was built in the late 1920’s. The coating on the tank has come to the end of its useful life, last pained in 1993.
“Our first intent was to have the tank repainted,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull. “But when evaluated, there were concerns about scrapping, specifically that the integrity of rivets may not have been preserved.”
According to the project’s consultant (Kleinfelder), the price for repainting and making the necessary repairs to the existing structure was $1.1 million (in 2014 numbers). That’s not including any costs if the rivets were to leak after the paint removal. An estimate to build a new tank was $2.3 million (in today’s numbers).
The new structure, a glass coated steel tank known as a “composite tank,” will never need to be painted, deliver better water quality, and provide the Water Department with the bonus of additional storage space.
The new tank is the same height as the existing one, but a bit wider (39 feet vs. 30 feet). The usable storage of the new tank, however, is 194,000 gallons more than the existing one (400,000 gallons vs. 206,000 gallons).
The new tank will be built adjacent to the existing one. The location was chosen, in large part, to continue to provide proper fire protection at the school’s compound on Carter Lane. Once the new tank is fully operational, the old tank will be dismantled.
Construction won’t begin until the start of next fiscal year (July 2018). There will not, however, be an article placed on the Town Meeting’s warrant to raise and appropriate the funds. Instead, the $2.3 million will come out of the town’s Water Fund.
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