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NPWA Hillcrest Tank Replacement Project

About the Project:

North Penn Water Authority (NPWA) is replacing its current water tank with a new water tank on Frederick and Clear Spring Roads in the Hillcrest section of Lansdale. Replacing this tank is part of a larger infrastructure improvement project in the Hillcrest section of Lansdale that will enhance fire protection, public safety and water quality. Demolition of the current tank will begin in Spring 2019 with construction of the new tank projected to begin in the Spring of 2020. You can view the full project timeline below.

Hillcrest Tank L 10 17


Hillcrest Tank NPWA 10 17

(Renderings of what the new Spheroid tank will look like compared to the current Standpipe style water tank. Images courtesy of Entech Engineering.)

Benefits of the Project:

  • Enhanced fire protection and public safety for the Hillcrest community.
  • Redundancies in water service, ensuring residents and businesses will always have access to safe, reliable water.
  • Enhanced water quality in the area.
  • More consistent and reliable water pressure.
  • One part of NPWA’s ongoing infrastructure improvements planned for the Hillcrest community. 
Current Tank New Tank
  • 1,250,000 gallon Standpipe
  • 70 feet high       
  • 60 foot diameter                  
  • Electric pump provides the area with suitable water pressure.
  • Cell antenna equipment visible.
  • Oldest tank in NPWA’s system, built in 1948, nearing the end of its useful life.
  • 250,000 gallon Spheroid
  • 140 feet high
  • 44 foot diameter bowl
  • Gravity provides water pressure.
  • Cell antenna equipment less visible.
  • New tank better meets the needs of the community, costs about the same as rehabbing the current tank.


Estimated Timeline:

Demolition of the current Standpipe tank will begin in Spring 2019.

Project bidding in Fall 2019.

Construction of new Spheroid tank is slated to begin in Spring 2020 with a completion date of Fall 2020. We will update this timeline as needed.

For more information, please call 215-855-3617.


Q&A

Q. Why did you change the location of the new water tank?
A: NPWA is constructing the new tank on the exact site of the existing tank, after it’s demolished. The original plan was to build the new tank on a piece of property belonging to the nearby St. Mary Manor community, but due to unforeseen complications, building the new tank in the same location as the current tank is more feasible.

NPWA attempted to get an easement from the property owner but St. Mary Manor has a financial relationship with the federal government, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The federal lawyers said they do not want to encumber that property with an easement.

NPWA decided to construct the new tank where the current tank stands. The current tank will be torn down in Spring 2019, and the new tank will be complete in Fall 2020.

Q. Why can’t the demo of the existing tank and construction of the new tank all be done under the same contract to speed things up?
A: By building the new tank in the location of the existing tank, the construction sequencing needed to change from how it was first outlined. First, the new tank will be demolished, along with the existing concrete foundation, and soil borings performed. This will give the tank builder the data required to design the new tank and foundation. Second the new tank project will be put out to bid, and built over the course of 2020.

Q. How will residents get water when you demolish the current tank?
A: NPWA will install an interconnection with the neighboring North Wales Water Authority, which will supplement NPWA’s existing water system delivery capacity, as needed, and provide the necessary redundancy of supply temporarily during the demolition and construction period.

Q. Will water rates go up because of this interconnection?
A: No.

Q. With the new interconnect planned with North Wales, will the water quality that North Penn delivers be compromised in any way?
A: The water quality will be the same since both authorities jointly own and operate the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant.

Q: Why will the new tank only hold 250,000 gallons compared to the current 1,250,000 gallons?
A: The antiquated design of the current stand pipe tank means that roughly 1,000,000 gallons act as a support column to hold up the topmost 250,000 gallons, which is all that is needed to serve the Hillcrest section of Lansdale.

Q: How will the new tank affect water pressure at my house? It’s good now, and with a higher tank, I don’t want it too high.
A: Pressure in most of the area will remain the same, but will be more consistent. It depends on exactly where your home is, and if there are high pressure concerns, your pressure reducing valve can be adjusted or you can install one if you don’t have one already.   

Q: Will the fire hydrants on site be changed? 
A:
There are no immediate plans to modify the hydrants or existing site piping around the tank.

Q: Will there be a notification to neighbors prior to the start of work?
A:
Yes, a letter will be mailed to neighbors in accordance with the Lansdale Borough requirements prior to work with the anticipated schedule and an emergency contact phone number. 

Q. With residents nearby, it’s important to minimize the disturbance on their lives. How will noise, dirt and debris be mitigated on site during work?
A: The construction contracts for various activities (tank demolition, foundation removal, foundation construction, tank construction, tank painting) will include ways to keep dirt and debris contained to the jobsite, including installing a silt fence around the property, and a stone construction entrance where trucks enter and leave the site.

Unfortunately, there is no way to build a new tank without making some noise. Fortunately, the site has a number of large trees, which are a natural noise breaker. In addition, provisions can be made for the contractors to set up their equipment as far away from houses as possible, and sound attenuating barriers put in place around the noisier equipment, when possible.

Finally, the Borough of Lansdale has set times and days of the week when general construction can occur. NPWA plans to follow these regulations with the majority of the work done while residents are at work or school. Keep in mind, if contractors can work through the weekends that means they will be done sooner. There is an advantage to allowing construction to happen through the weekend when requested, keeping in mind that this work is weather dependent, and tank contractors need to work every non-rainy day they can.

Q.  How will traffic from trucks and deliveries be managed so the neighborhood roads aren’t crowded with construction vehicles?
A: NPWA does not anticipate many trucks or deliveries over the course of the project. This is a lot different than a new building or the new parking garage downtown. Each phase of construction will have a small crew, approximately 5 workers, with one or two tractor trailers on site during their work, then deliveries every week or two. So there won’t be multiple deliveries daily, and if needed, NPWA can have them scheduled to minimize impact on the community.

Q: Will there be lighting on site?
A: None is planned at this time. However, existing security lighting at the Booster Station will be upgraded, yet remain unobtrusive

Q: Will chemicals be injected into the water at the tank?
A: Yes, but only if needed. Chlorine is injected as needed at various points in NPWA’s distribution system to maintain water quality.

Q: Will the cell carriers charge NPWA to move their equipment from the existing tank to the new tank? 
A:
No, there will be no charges to NPWA.

Q. Will the new tank be able to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes?
A: Yes. Welded steel water tanks, like this planned waterspheroid, are specially designed in accordance with an industry manual that’s been in use since 1940, and updated regularly. It includes design calculations for hurricane force winds and earthquake loads, varying by location, so the tank and foundation are designed accordingly. You’ll often see an elevated tank still standing amongst the devastation after a hurricane strikes, still providing water to the community through gravity.

 


 

 

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North Penn Water Authority
300 Forty Foot Road
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 215.855.3617
Fax: 215.855.2756
After Hours Emergency Number:
215.855.9945
Safe Drinking Water Hotline:
800.426.4791
info@npwa.org
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