The tank is necessary to meet the Authority’s ongoing mission to provide reliable water service, including fire protection, to all of its customers. The proposed tank will have a storage capacity of 3 million gallons. The location abuts the North Penn Railroad near the intersection of Unionville Pike and Richmond Road, behind the Country Fresh site, in an area of the township that is zoned for light industrial use. This is a very appropriate location for this facility, considering its zoning and its close proximity to large size water transmission mains that can transport water in and out of the tank.
As noted by Tony Bellitto, Executive Director of NPWA, “There is a pressing need for more storage in our system to continue to adequately meet the increased water demands of our customers, and to provide essential fire protection.” The NPWA has grown from only about 7,000 customers in 1965 to over 32,000 customers today, over a 100 square mile service area. The last time that NPWA added gravity storage in an elevated tank was in 1989, over 20 years ago. Since that time, NPWA’s average daily water demand has grown from about 7 million gallons per day to about 10 million gallons per day, and its peak daily water demand has grown from about 8.5 million gallons per day to about 15 million gallons per day. As the number of customers and their associated water demands has grown steadily over these years, the amount of water storage held in the NPWA’s tanks has remained constant. Standard practice in the water industry is to have storage capacity to meet one average daily water demand. The existing NPWA tanks do not meet this criteria, so additional storage is required.
Additional gravity storage in an elevated tank also provides uninterrupted flow to fight fires; helps stabilize system pressures during high demand periods in the summer; and provides reliable water pressure and supply during extended power outages.
Another important factor that compels the need for this new tank is that the NPWA needs to perform essential maintenance and painting on its largest tank in Lansdale Borough. The existing tank needs to be taken out of service temporarily for several months for painting and refurbishment. This Lansdale tank is the NPWA’s largest elevated tank, with a capacity of 2 million gallons, and is the heart of its operations. It has not been taken out of service for the past 40 years. Since NPWA relies so heavily on this tank for its daily operations, the only way to perform the required maintenance on it, while still ensuring no compromise in water service, is to first have a new storage tank in place.
Construction of the proposed new water storage tank is scheduled for completion at the end of 2013.
The Hatfield Township Zoning Hearing Board will review the NPWA’s application for this project at a public meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm at the township building.
Contact: Tony Bellitto, Executive Director