Water tank nears completion | RecordCourier.com
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Water tank nears completion

by Sharon Carter

Construction of the 1.5-million gallon water tank at the southeast corner of Johnson Lane and Squires is moving well enough that county engineering staff say it may come on line as early as a month before the scheduled completion date at the end of August.

Engineer Craig McNeil with Community Development said the tank, which is designed to augment the county’s East Valley Water System, will provide adequate flows to Johnson Lane’s Wildhorse neighborhood near Highway 395. The area the water tank will serve is roughly bounded by Stewart and Fuller avenues in the east.

The county’s East Valley Water System was created when the Johnson Lane area’s troubled Mountain View Water System was combined with the Airport Water System. Original consultants’ analyses had called for the area to be served ultimately by a 3-million gallon tank.

“This will serve existing customers and fix some storage and supply problems the area has had for several years,” McNeil said. “That area has been on odd-even irrigation since about 1995. There’s space at the site for another 1.5-million gallon tank to be built when it’s needed – maybe in 15 to 20 years. This smaller tank is a compromise that gives us what we need now and in the near future. But if something changes, the site for additional water storage is there. We won’t have to go through it all again.”

McNeil said some residents, whose properties are adjacent to or east of the site, cannot be served by the tank. And no one, he said, will be required to hook up.

“Each tank must be at a certain elevation above the area it serves so that proper water pressures – from 40 to 80 pounds per square inch – can be maintained,” he said. “It’s a question of gravity.”

The tank is being built by Resource Development Co. of Sparks at a cost of $565,100.

“It’s been a good project,” said engineer Ron Roman, also of Community Development. Roman is in charge of the tank’s construction and installation.

“We had open bids in January and the county awarded the contract to Resource Concepts, one of nine bidders,” he said. “They started work at the site on Feb. 20.”

Included in the tank’s cost is landscaping the site. McNeil, who is in charge of the site’s landscaping, said the huge berm, which partially masks the tank, was put in place to camouflage the tank. There is also an on-site detention pond to control runoff and drainage.

“It looks pretty industrial right now, but we plan to contour grade the berm and incorporate it in the landscaping,” McNeil said.

He said the county has listened to residents’ suggestions for improving the tank’s looks.

“People in the neighborhood have suggested painting the tank to match the soil and using native plants to landscape the property,” McNeil said. “We’ve got a good match on the color and (architectural landscaper) George Chapman of Landmark Design Group (formerly of Carson City) has drawn up a short list of trees and plants.”

“We’re told the best time to plant is in September, so we’d like our working design completed fairly soon,” McNeil said.

He said the landscaping will include evergreen trees, particularly limber, Scotch and Austrian pines encircled by native pinon pines. Deciduous trees – locusts, hackberries and coffee trees – will add variety and will be placed in areas unsuitable for the pines.

Other planned landscaping includes shrubs – native big sage, rabbit brush, ephedra and Wamaster broom. Climbing honeysuckle and eunonymous shrubs and silver lace vine will also be used to soften the tank’s outlines.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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