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Nesquehoning water tank to get $300K overhaul

Published June 05. 2019 01:34PM

Nesquehoning’s one water tank is getting a nearly $300,000 overhaul beginning next week.

Residents should not see any disruption in water service over the summer as the 500,000-gallon tank in the New Columbus area gets drained, sandblasted and repainted. I.K. Stoltzfus of Manheim is completing the work at a cost of $299,175.

Gary Porembo, chairman of the borough water authority, said that as of right now, the project will begin with draining the tank beginning June 6 and work is expected to start on June 10.

“We’re not wasting water,” he said of the first step. “The tank is going to be drained by what the people of Nesquehoning are using.”

That process will take approximately four days.

After that, the town water supply will switch to the 300,000-gallon tank in Hauto for the duration of the project. The borough is currently switching over valves at that tank to make sure everything runs smoothly.

The tank being renovated is 23 years old and is in need of a little maintenance.

I.K. Stoltzfus will use an environmentally friendly product for the sandblasting portion of the project and will use a specialized elastoshield paint that expands and stretches to fill in any cracks on the inside of the tank.

Porembo said that the project should take 68 days from start to finish.

“Hopefully everything runs smoothly and we’re back up and running in 68 days,” he said. “The only concern right now is if there is a fire.”

John McArdle, Nesquehoning Hose Company fire chief, said that his department has a plan in place in the event that happens.

“We will initially use the authority system and automatic aid of two tankers,” he said. “This will allow time for additional tankers to be brought in if necessary. We also have worked out a plan to refill the tankers when they are emptied by using water from the Lansford-Coaldale Joint Water Authority system and two other sources.”

Porembo said that as long as no emergency happens, the Hauto tank will be able to supply enough water to the whole town during the project.

The borough originally debated whether or not to build a second, smaller tank near the New Columbus tank before the project but scrapped that idea because it would have cost upward of $1.5 million to complete both projects.

“We couldn’t bear it right now because we didn’t want to raise the rates,” Porembo said.

As of right now, Porembo added that there will not be a water ban on unnecessary water use during the project.

Water discoloration is not expected with the changeover in the tanks.

“We’re trying our hardest to put it in without a raise,” Porembo said.

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