Archive for Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Suburban plans water tank southwest of town

President of Basehor-based company questions Tonganoxie’s plans to not link to his lines

May 5, 2004

Soon, a new water storage tank will mark Tonganoxie's horizon.

The 1.3 million-gallon tank, which will be owned by Suburban Water Inc., will be installed about a half-mile south of Tonganoxie at the top of the hill to the west.

Mike Breuer, president of the Basehor water wholesaler, said the hilltop site is higher than Suburban's water tower which is at 166th Street and Kansas Avenue, seven miles east of Tonganoxie. The tank will be 43 feet tall and 78 feet in diameter, Breuer said.

Breuer said the additional pipeline will transport water to the new water storage tank, providing more even water pressure to Suburban's existing customers. In addition, there's a possibility Water District 6, to the west of the new tank, may be interested in working with Suburban to acquire more water, Breuer said.

Breuer also said the new tank will also provide more water for fire protection.

The hilltop location was selected because it costs about half as much to set a water tank on a hilltop than it would to build an elevated tank.

Currently, Suburban is about halfway through a project that includes the installation a 12-inch water line from Stranger Creek to the hill. The original part of the line starts at a tie-in to the Kansas City Kansas Board of Public Utilities at 142nd Street and State Avenue. It basically follows the same 10.2-mile-route along which the city of Tonganoxie is looking at installing its own hookup with BPU.

But Suburban's line, rather than stopping in Tonganoxie, will continue west to the hilltop tank.

Breuer explained that Suburban's route will follow Evans Road east to 214th Street, or Rogers Road. From there the line will be taken south to Kansas Avenue, and then west toward the hill where the tank will be built. Currently, the installation of the water line has been completed to about 211th Street and Evans Road. And a 12-inch branch of the line runs north up 206th Street and about a quarter-mile west on Sandusky, stopping at a Suburban fire hydrant on the south side of a road.

Residents who live along the line's path will be able to hook on with Suburban, Breuer said.

In fact, he added, the city of Tonganoxie is welcome to do the same.

"We have a line available and Tonganoxie city can hook up to it and they don't have to spend $2.5 million to run a line from the BPU connection to Tonganoxie," Breuer said.

City officials said at last week's council meeting that at this point they would prefer a direct line to BPU because it would eliminate the middleman -- Suburban.

Breuer, who said he recently discussed the situation with City Administrator Shane Krull, said the city could put its own line in from BPU -- and hook up with Suburban. That way, additional water could be piped into the city if needed.

"Why not hook on now and in an emergency situation be ready?" Breuer said.

Suburban, which was founded 18 years ago by Mike Breuer's father, Ray Breuer, currently supplies water to 1,100 homes, as well as to Rural Water District No. 10, which is located southeast of Tonganoxie.

Suburban currently pumps about 70 percent of its water from area wells, and buys the remaining 30 percent from BPU. In 2003, Suburban sold about 95 million gallons.

So far Suburban has spent about $500,000 to get the line to where it is now, Breuer said. He added that it would cost the company an additional $800,000 for the new water tank.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.