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Get ready for more water

Pipeline, tank projects improving pressure for southeast Manteca

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POSTED December 24, 2012 12:40 a.m.

More water, enhanced water quality and more water are all coming to southeast Manteca in 2013.

Those improvements are the end result of two major water projects that will start in 2013.

The first phase involves installing 11,800 feet of 24-inch pipeline running under Austin Road south from Yosemite Avenue (East Highway 120) and going underneath Highway 99 to Moffat Boulevard and then to a future water tank site on Atherton Drive.

The pipeline is expected to cost $1.6 million. Bids will be opened on Jan. 7.

Kennedy/Jenks Consultants is being paid $136,205 to design a 2 to 4 million gallon water storage tank along Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton has noted since where the tank is going “is on the high side of town” it would help provide a pressure safeguard for much the rest of the city as well.

Water storage is considered critical in emergencies.

During the late 1990s when heavy use during a 105-degree heat wave knocked off much of the Western Stat s power grid, Manteca’s available water supply for fighting fires dropped to precariously low levels. People home for the evening and unable to cool off with air conditioning  resorted to going to their front yards and turned on water for children to play in.

At the time, Manteca relied 100 percent on well water.

The city’s current combined surface and water and well water system wouldn’t put Manteca in the same exact position although growth has increased demand in the event of a prolonged electrical outage.

The tank will hold between 2 million and 4 million gallons of water. The project also will require building a booster pump station to serve peak water demands of existing customers.

The proposed location is along the east side of Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue in southeast Manteca. A sign noting that “the future site” of a water storage tank has been standing on city-owned land for years facing the bike path. The city will need to obtain additional land immediately to the south for the project.

The storage tank is more than likely to be similar to ones that already exist and are squat-style ground tanks that can be found on Lathrop Road east of Union Road and in front of the municipal wastewater treatment plant on West Yosemite Avenue across from the ACE passenger station. Each of those tanks holds more than a million gallons of water.

By comparison the elevated water tower on Wetmore Street slated for demolition was designed to hold 300,000 gallons of water. The water tank at Atherton and Woodward could ultimately be built to hold more than 12 times the water as the Wetmore tank.

The 50-year-old Wetmore tank was drained of water after a state mandated safety inspection determined it did not meet earthquake structural standards unless it was empty.

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