SOUTHINGTON — The construction of a new concrete water tower on Mill Street reached another milestone this week when crews poured what will be the 65-foot-tall structure’s roof.
Bill Casarella, superintendent of the Southington Water Department, said the project is “right on schedule.” Contractors are wrapping the tank’s new concrete panels in wire and will “shotcrete,” or spray, another layer of concrete over that wire to form a sturdy layer.
“It looks like a big power washer,” Casarella said of the pumps used to spray the concrete. “They’ll blast the wire with concrete.”
As the concrete cures the layers toward the bottom of the tank, it will get thicker, he said.
Casarella expects the tower will be substantially completed this fall. But he said it most likely will not be turned on to the town’s water system until the spring.
The concrete tank is expected to be large enough to hold two million gallons of water, replacing the two one-million gallon steel tanks that have long supplied residents and businesses in the area with water.
Once the tank’s construction is complete, contractors will need to install new water lines to feed water from town wells into the tank. From there, another line would deliver treated water to residents and businesses.
But there are still several steps before that happens, Casarella said.
“Then we have to pressure test all the water mains. We have to chlorinate the tank for bacteria,” he said.
Then water samples would need to be collected and tested to ensure a clean water supply, Casarella said.
Casarella said construction began in May, with contractors first clearing the site.
Once the new tank is online and the old tanks have been taken offline, they will be demolished. Casarella did not give a timeline for when that demolition would happen.
Casarella said constructing a new concrete tank instead of upgrading the existing 60-year-old and 70-year-old tanks is the most feasible long-term plan.
A concrete tank would require a lot less long-term maintenance than the existing steel tanks, Casarella said.
The $3.2 million project is being funded in large part through a low interest loan the water department received through Connecticut’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program.
“It’s moving along fine,” Casarella said. “I’m satisfied with the schedule that they’re on.”