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NPWA’s 3-Million Gallon Water Storage Tank Bowl Raising

July 16, 2014

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Contact: Tony Bellitto, Executive Director

(215) 783-2946

The North Penn Water Authority’s new 3-million gallon water storage tank located on Township Line Road, near the intersection with Cowpath Road, in Franconia Township, is about to mark another milestone in its construction.  On Thursday, July 17, 2014, from about 2:00-5:00 p.m., weather permitting, the steel bowl will be raised from the base to the top.  From start to finish, the lifting of the bowl will be approximately a 3 hour process, with about an eight inch rise per minute.  Construction of the tank began in April of 2013, and is on schedule to be put into service by the end of this year.  The tank, which is costing over $6,000,000 to construct, is 135 feet in height with a 118 foot diameter steel bowl for water storage, resting on top of a 60 foot diameter, 84-foot tall concrete pedestal.  It is this bowl that has been assembled on the ground and will be raised this week.  When completed, this 3-million gallon tank of composite construction will be the largest of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region. 

It has been almost 20 years since the last time the Authority built additional tank storage.  Construction of a 2.5-million gallon water storage tank, the largest in the Authority’s system until now, was completed in the fall of 1995, in Lederach.  Since that time, water demands have increased substantially along with the number of customers to an average daily water demand of about 10 million gallons per day, with a peak daily water demand of about 15 million gallons per day.  As the number of customers and their associated water demands has grown steadily over these years, the amount of water storage held in the NPWA’s tanks has remained constant. Standard practice in the water industry is to have enough storage capacity to meet one average day’s water demand. The existing NPWA tank volumes do not meet this criteria, so additional storage is required.  Water held in storage allows the Authority to maintain the required operational volumes and pressures, to meet the daily water demands of customers and the peak demands during the summer, as well as reserve excess capacity when needed for firefighting and emergencies. 

With completion of the Franconia tank at the end of the year, the Authority is on schedule to commence maintenance work in the spring of 2015 on the existing elevated 2-million gallon water storage tank in the middle of Lansdale Borough, located near the Madison Avenue parking lot. The Lansdale tank is a critical, central component of the Authority’s water distribution system, and it cannot be taken out of service for the extended time necessary for rehabilitation, sandblasting and painting of the tank until additional storage capacity is first made available with the new tank in Franconia.  In the spring of 2015, both the inside and outside will be rehabilitated and painted. Unlike paint that was used decades ago, today’s advanced type of metal coatings will better protect the structure from discoloration and surface rust, ensuring that the tank will be kept in good appearance and operating condition for many years to come.  In the next few years after the Lansdale tank painting is completed, similar maintenance work will commence on the Authority’s elevated tank in Hatfield Borough.   

In addition, construction of a new 2.5-million gallon water storage tank on the property of the Graterford Prison in Skippack Township has commenced and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.  Following completion, the Authority will be the sole water supplier to the new prison (called SCI-Phoenix) that is being built on the same property owned by the state, near the existing prison, which will be shut down. The new prison will no longer utilize its own on-site groundwater wells, but instead will purchase all of its water from North Penn Water Authority.  Although located on the prison site, this new tank will benefit not just the prison, but also NPWA’s larger distribution system of customers outside that property.

 As is apparent from the tank construction and maintenance work that is currently underway and being undertaken over the next few years, along with the routine annual maintenance and replacement of water main performed annually, the Authority is working diligently to maintain its infrastructure system.  As noted by Tony Bellitto, Executive Director of NPWA, “Maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure is an important part of what the North Penn Water Authority does on a regular basis to ensure that our customers always have the high quality, reliable water supply that our communities depend on.  The construction of new water storage tanks and rehabilitation and painting of existing ones, is just a part of that ongoing effort.”

A photo of the tank as of July 17, 2014 is pictured below.  

Franconia Tank Image 4




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North Penn Water Authority
300 Forty Foot Road
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 215.855.3617
Fax: 215.855.2756
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