SWL&P to build reservoirMADISON – A 1.5 million-gallon reservoir slated for the east side of Superior will improve water quality and system reliability plus accommodate expansion of the intersection of 18th Ave. East and East Second St., a Superior Water Light & Power official said.
By: By Kevin Murphy/For the Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
MADISON – A 1.5 million-gallon reservoir slated for the east side of Superior will improve water quality and system reliability plus accommodate expansion of the intersection of 18th Ave. East and East Second St., a Superior Water Light & Power official said.
The $4.95 million reservoir will be built on the southeast corner of the intersection of 18th Ave. and East 2nd St. and allow the utility to demolish two nearby underground facilities; a 300,000-gallon reservoir build in 1889 on the north side of 18th Ave.; and a 1 million-gallon reservoir built in 1912 on the south side of 18th Ave., said William Bombich, SWL&P’s manager of gas and water operations.
The Department of Transportation and the city of Superior intend to widen the intersection next year and add turn lanes. Although the utility would have preferred to postpone replacement of the reservoirs, Bombich acknowledged they were beyond their useful life and in the way of the intersection improvements.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved the reservoir project this week and it still must be approved by the city, and departments of Natural Resources and Commerce, said Bombich.
Bombich hopes to get the reservoir bid in a few weeks and have construction underway by mid May. That would allow completion by the end of the year, in time for work to begin on the intersection early next year.
The DNR requires new reservoirs to be above ground to lessen chances of groundwater infiltration. Five feet of SWL&P’s new reservoir will be below grade but the remainder will rise about 15 feet above ground. The exterior walls will have a decorative concrete finish similar to the adjacent water treatment plant, Bombich said.
The new reservoir will use ultraviolet light technology to kill most of the pathogens that could harm drinking water. Chlorine will be added to as the water is pumped through distribution mains but using ultraviolet light will allow the utility to reduce the use of chlorine and save cost, Bombich said.
The new reservoir will need higher rates to finance it, and a rate application is being prepared for submission to the PSC this summer, he said. Bombich didn’t know how large a request it would be at this time.
The million-gallon reservoir will be taken out of service, the new reservoir will be constructed on that site, and once it’s online, the 300,000-gallon reservoir will be demolished. The $4.95 million covers demolition costs, too, Bombich said.
“The above ground reservoir, with the ultra violet system will produce a lot better quality water and will help our system’s reliability,” he said. “If there’s a major break in town, between the water and tower new reservoir will have more time to complete a repair before there’s a chance of losing any water from the system.”
A 1.5 million-gallon water tower was built in 2008. Adding the storage capacity of the new reservoir would give SWL&P a minimum of 3 million gallons, which is equal to the daily demand for water, Bombich said.