In a high-profile infrastructure project, the City of Valparaiso’s original water tower – located at Tower Park on Franklin Street – is getting a fresh new finish, inside and out this summer, preserving its surfaces into the future. Built in 1936, the tower’s interior and exterior will be sandblasted and resurfaced, with the exterior featuring a fresh new brand for the City of Valparaiso.
“We’re excited to showcase a new look that also updates the water tower, maintaining surfaces for the future,” said Mayor Matt Murphy. The project kicked off at the end of June and contractors will work seven days a week to complete by the end of August. The tower is out of service during the project, including time for the surfaces to cure, followed by sterilizing the interior and repeated laboratory testing.
Recoating the water tower adds life to the surfaces, protecting them from the elements. The exterior process involves creating a large stencil of the artwork and then rolling/brushing the color over the white base coat – all done by hand. The new surface is expected to last 20 years with proper maintenance. The cost for this specialized process is $476,000, which is covered by fees the City earns by leasing cellular antennas located on the tower to outside services.
Valparaiso City Services has the city’s three water towers inspected and maintained regularly to maximize their lifespans. Next up, the Silhavy water tower will likely be recoated in the next several years, followed by the Campbell Street tower, which is the city’s newest tower.
While the tower is out of service, the City still maintains a robust 1.5 million gallons of water through the remaining two towers. “Water towers are very valuable to a community as they ensure water pressure throughout the city, 24/7, 365 days a year, regardless of weather or usage levels,” said Bob Garmon, Collections & Distribution Manager for Valparaiso City Services. “Not only is pressure important for home use, but in case of fire, you want consistent water pressure at all times. Valparaiso provides this stability each day,” he said.
The City’s original water tower has a capacity of 500,000 gallons of water. The City of Valparaiso’s water comes from 22 underground wells, which pump water into two treatment plants where it is then filtered and stored in the City’s four ground storage tanks (5 million gallons) then as needed pumped into the three water towers. The water in towers is turned over daily, filling during off-peak hours and pumping out during on-demand hours, typically approximately 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Water levels and pumps are constantly monitored to ensure consistent service.
To learn more about the City of Valparaiso’s utilities and services, visit Valpo.us.