Oskaloosa water tower has a leak
by Dennis Sharkey
The city’s old water tower is leaking and may need emergency repair work.
Mayor Mike Paavola told the council last Thursday night that a special meeting may need to be called to have emergency repairs made to the tower.
Councilman Gary Bryant said he was over at the tower last week and it appeared that more than the estimated three gallons every 45 minutes was leaking from the tower.
Paavola said an estimate he got for repairs was about $10,000 but the city will seek other bids. He did say that he was surprised the initial bid was that low. He expected the costs to be twice as much.
The water tower is actually two towers with one sitting on top of another. The first tower is basically a straight pipe that was first installed in 1939. The later addition was added in 1965. Both pieces were used when the city purchased them.
Bryant said there are also pieces of the tower that need replacing simply because they haven’t been addressed in more than 40 years.
Paavola said an eight-foot all-steel section on the bottom will have to be removed and replaced.
He said the repairs are not something the city can wait on. He said if the valve on the tower blows out several blocks of the city will be without water until the repairs are made.
If repairs are made now water service will only be affected for a few hours.
Paavola said the city could operate off the new tower only but not in a normal situation.
“It’s not an automatic system but it would be a make-it-work system until it gets replaced,” Paavola said. “Everybody will have water.”
Paavola said this is not a simple repair and should be taken seriously. He said he has experience with two similar projects when he was a construction contractor.
“It’s not fun. It’s hard,” he said. “It’s a big deal.”
The city will have a special meeting once a solution is determined.
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