A potential site has been proposed at 228 Mae Street. City officials met with neighborhood residents Thursday evening to explain the project and gather input.
The proposed tower would hold 1.5 million gallons, resting on a concrete column. It would stand approximately 115 feet tall. The welded steel tank would be 83 feet in diameter. The tower would be designed to be aesthetically pleasing, with ladders and walkways all contained inside the column.
Storm Lake has three existing water towers, constructed in 1956, 1974 and 1991 respectively. The new structure would be the City’s largest, holding more water than the 1974 and 1991 towers combined.
The towers all store treated water. Finished water pumped from the treatment plant that isn’t immediately used by customers is stored in the tower system to provide for water needs during periods of peak use, and to ensure that plentiful water is available in reserve for fire protection. Currently, the three existing towers hold a total of 1.75 million gallons, while ideally the system should hold at least one day’s worth of water. Storm Lake’s average daily use is approximately 3.2 million gallons with a peak of 5 million.
Height of a water tower is determined by the water pressure needs of the community – each foot of height for a tower generates .43 pounds per square inch of pressure. Storm Lake maintains average water pressure of 50 PSI.
The project is being planned with the assistance of ISG engineering firm. A hydraulic water model was used to help determine a site for a new tower. The study indicates that the most beneficial location would be between the existing Tower 1 in the downtown area and the Tyson Foods plant – the corridor that sees the highest water use within the community. Demolishing and replacing a tower on an existing site is not an option. Due to the supply needs, all of the current towers are needed to remain in service, and the small land parcels where towers are currently located would not allow for construction of a larger tower.
The City hopes to obtain funding from a low-cost revolving loan fund to avoid having to bond for the development.
Photo: An engineer’s mock-up shows how the new tower would appear on the proposed Mae Street site.