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Tiffin looks at second wave of water tower project

TIFFIN— If all goes as planned, residents of Tiffin will have a new water tower inservice during the fall of 2013.
The Tiffin City Council accepted the results of a study by HR Green, Inc. regarding the location and size of the new tank at their regular meeting Wednesday, April 11.
The study, which looked at three possible sites, also looked at water distribution in Tiffin and proposed improvements that would increase pressure in parts of the city that have chronically had low-pressure. The study and hydraulic models were phase one of the project as authorized last year.
The council also approved amending the current professional services agreement with HR Green, Inc. to initiate phase two of the project, which consists of design work, bid letting, construction management and administrative services. The council will likely approve the amended contract at its next meeting.
The recommendation is for a 500,000 gallon elevated tank to be located on city-owned land near Ridge Drive and Jasper Avenue in the southeast Tiffin. A 16-inch water main will be extended from an existing capped main on the south side of Clear Creek to reach the tank. The existing 100,000 gallon tank will be demolished as it has out-lived its usefulness.
To control pressure and avoid problems, three separate pressure-reducing valves will be installed. The valves are necessary as the higher pressure coming off of the new tank could be too much for the city’s older pipes to handle. Currently some parts have 30 psi in their water lines. The new tower is projected to increase pressure city-wide by 20 psi. Current Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommendations are for 35 psi.
HR Green, Inc. looked at three sites: the southeast location, one on the far northwest side of Tiffin (also on city-owned land), and a location on the north end on a higher elevation. The southeast location was selected based on a variety of factors including improvement in fire protection water flow and an ideal location to provide sufficient water supply to industrial and commercial sites. The company feels the tower will meet the needs of Tiffin for 20 years, at which time the northern site could be a good option for a second tower.
The project is estimated to cost $2,360,000 for construction of the tower, extending the main and installing the control valves. A contingency fund of 20 percent as well as engineering, legal and administration costs of 20 percent were also factored-in.
Once the amended contract is approved, design work will commence, with the goal of letting bids this summer. Weather permitting, concrete work at the site would be completed before the onset of winter. Construction would continue through the winter, with the tower expected to be operational in the fall.