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Study: City has water storage problem

October 5, 2012
By Melissa Toothman - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The recommended two-day storage capacity for some of Philippi's water tanks is reportedly not being met, according to a new study.

Dave Sharp of Potesta Engineering recommended to city leaders what needs to be done with water tanks in need of replacement or renovation.

"We're about 700,000 or 750,000 gallons short of meeting that two-day storage capacity that the health department recommends," Sharp said at this week's Philippi City Council meeting. "We talked about upgrading some of the water tank capacities in the city. There's two sets of tanks that we've looked at."

Those tanks include the two at Alderson-Broaddus College and two on High Street. According to Sharp, both of those areas have one tank each that was built in the 1950s and one built in the 1970s.

Sharp said one of the High Street tanks had a major leak last winter and had to be taken out of service for a period of time, and is still in need of repair. Inspections were performed on the other tanks, as well.

"I'm not overly familiar with the outcome of those (inspections), other than there's some work that's necessary on those... they haven't been painted and upgraded for a period of years," Sharp said. Postesta Engineering has taken the recommendation to increase the storage capacity and came up with two alternatives, he said.

One option would be to replace one of the tanks at A-B, while repairing the other. For the tanks on High Street, this option would include the repairing of both tanks and the addition of a third one, bringing the storage capacity up to the recommendation.

The two tanks on High Street have a storage capacity of 500,000 gallons. The proposed third tank would have a capacity of about 700,000 gallons. Sharp said that he thinks the tank that was being considered for A-B would be replaced with a 130,000-gallon tank.

The total construction cost for this option would be $1.7 million.

The second option would feature the same plans for the college, but instead of adding a third tank on High Street, the tank with continued maintenance issues would be taken out of service and replaced with a much larger tank. The recommended storage capacity would also be met. The total construction cost for this option was $1.8 million.

Additionally, Sharp mentioned a preliminary idea to perform a 12,000-foot waterline extension on Hacker's Creek Road. The estimated construction cost would be about $450,000 to $500,000.

In other council news, the depth of asphalt paving for some streets in Philippi may have to be adjusted to meet budgetary restrictions.

City Manager Karen Weaver reported that J.F. Allen Co. was looking at which streets in the city could be paved. According to Weaver, the price of asphalt is up. The city originally would pave at a depth of 2 inches, but Weaver said the cost estimate was "just way beyond our budget," at $170,679.

According to Weaver, it was recommended the city not go below 1.5 inches, as that estimated cost would be $94,000. No decisions were made on the report at council.

Plans to open bids for the wastewater treatment project were discussed with Philippi City Council this week.

"The only thing we think we need to do right now is call the Department of Environmental Protection," Craig D. Richards, project engineer for Burgess & Niple, told council. "I don't think that there will be much we need to do to get it advertised for bids because it's a relatively simple project, as far as permitting is concerned."

Richards told the city council that the last time he made a presentation before it, he reported that Burgess & Niple would be waiting for a response from the Public Service Commission as to that state agency's support of the project. Richards said that favorable response came last week.

"The fall or the winter is a great time to advertise. That's when you have contractors wrapping up jobs," Richards said.

Once permits are in place and plans are approved, Richard said there is a "good possibility" that bids will be advertised by the end of the year or in February. and that construction could begin around mid-to-late spring.



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