Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 3, 2010

Water tower repair causes pressure problems

STILLWATER, Okla. — Officials are hoping for a quick end to renovations of a water tower on 19th Avenue west of Range Road. The water tower, which must be empty during the work, is likely to blame for complaints of low water pressure in western Stillwater neighborhoods.

Water Utilities Manager Anthony Daniel originally hoped all work would be finished by the peak water usage period that began mid-July. The facelift is the water tower’s first renovation since it was built in 18 years ago.

“All of the internal painting is done,” Daniel said. “But while they finish the outside they are at the mercy of rain and wind.”

Daniel estimated that crews have approximately 80 percent of the tower’s exterior painted. He went on to estimate that the tower should be operational in approximately two weeks.

H&R Enterprises LLC, out of Seminole, was selected by the city in November 2009 to do the remodel. The utilities department awarded the company $160,000 for the renovations.

During the work, crews have faced a number of challenges. Rain has often ceased work, and wind ripped a protective bonnet used to keep debris from striking nearby houses. Work was stopped until the bonnet could be repaired.

“We have not been able to meet peak water usage demands around the 7 a.m. hour especially,” Daniel said.

The water pressure issue is mostly affecting residents living in neighborhoods on the west side of Stillwater that are usually served by the water tower.

“The water pressure is very low,” Usha Sharda said. “I normally water my grass at night because of the pressure, but I still have brown spots in my backyard where the grass is dying.”

“I receive calls from customers every day,” Daniel said. “No one wants this done more than I do.”

Daniel said the need for the water tower to be operational will be even more critical as students return to Stillwater and cause a spike in water use.

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