Archive for Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Water tower would help pressure problems

May 25, 2005

A water line the city plans to construct will not alleviate the need for a water tower, or water storage tanks, near the new middle school.

The city is working on plans for a water line to carry Kansas City Kansas Board of Public Utilities water to Tonganoxie.

According to Tonganoxie's city engineer, Brian Kingsley, a water tower or storage tanks near the new school still will be necessary.

"You'd still need the (water) storage there to fight fires with," Kingsley said. "The reason you have a water tower is for storage so that in the case of an emergency you'll have a large volume of water there that you can let out and fight a fire with."

And, Kingsley said, the south part of town, where the new middle school will be built, has marginal water pressure already. A new water tower would increase water pressure for existing homes, as well as for future development.

Near where the school will be built, the water pressure averages about 50 pounds per square inch in the middle of the night, Kingsley said.

"Then when the water usage goes up when everybody's taking showers and getting up in the morning, the pressure's dropping approximately 10 psi already," Kingsley said. "... As a general rule of thumb, we recommend that pressures don't vary in the system any more than 10 psi."

And to meet Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations, the city must maintain a minimum of 20 psi, Kingsley said.

Kingsley noted the school district has said it will need to have the availability of 200 gallons a minute to operate the school.

"If we put an additional 200 gallons demand in that area, then pressures will fluctuate even more than they are already," Kingsley said. "We're recommending that that's unacceptable to the existing residents down there."

If a water tower were built, the school property would be the likely place for it.

"That just happens to be a high point," Kingsley said. "The most efficient place to build a water tower is on a high point."

And, Kingsley said, it would be more cost-efficient if the tower were close to the school.

"If we were to pick a site a half-mile from there ... we would have to build a pipe to get it to the school," Kingsley said.

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