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Water tank will help with pressure, supply
water tank sign1
A City of Manteca sign marks the site of the future water tank along Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca by early 2014 could have a 4 million gallon ace-in-the-hole when it comes to assuring water pressure both at peak use periods and in an emergency.

The City Council Tuesday directed staff to hire Kennedy/Jenks Consultants for $136,205 to design a 2 to 4 million gallon water storage tank along Atherton Drive just north of Woodward Avenue.

The most immediate area impacted will be city water customers south of the 120 Bypass.

Public Works Director Mark Houghton 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 States’ 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 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 “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.