New water tower latest sign of growth in Camden


CAMDEN — A new water tower on Upper King Road is the latest sign of a rapidly growing local population — and a guarantee of an adequate water supply for the future, officials believe.

The new tank, located near the Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary School, will be the third in Camden and Wyoming.

It should be functional by late summer.

“We’ve been planning this for a couple of years now,” said Peter Couming, chairman of the Camden-Wyoming Sewer and Water Authority. “DNREC projected that the future growth will warrant a greater capacity for the water supply.

“We’ve grown over the years and if we keep moving at the same rate we’re moving at now we were going to need

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A new water tower on Upper King Road in Camden is currently under construction and expected to be functional by late summer. The new tank will be the third in the area and will help ease future water demands as the town’s population grows. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

another water tower.”

Camden’s population increased by almost 65 percent and Wyoming’s increased by 15 percent between 2000 and 2010, said Mr. Couming.

The water tank will hold 1 million gallons of water and will cost about $3 million.

“The funding comes from impact fees that we’ve collected over the years,” Mr. Couming said. “These fees are collected to pay for improvements to the water system. We’ve been collecting this for over 10 years now and we just budgeted accordingly.”

The new well will draw from the Piney Point Aquifer, which is confined completely in Delaware.

The Piney Point Aquifer, in conjunction with the Cheswold aquifer, supplies about 80 percent of the municipal and industrial water used in Kent County.

“It’s pretty large,” Mr. Couming said. “It’s 400 feet deep, right below the tank. We found a piece of land and made sure the aquifer was in a good place. It’s really not exposed to any type of contamination. It’s great quality water.”

The water tank on West Street, which holds 300,000 gallons, and the tank on Brenda Lane which holds 1 million gallons of water will work hand and hand with the new tank.

“It’s all one system,” Mr. Couming said. “It’s all connected, as each of the pumps runs in the same water mains. They feed into each, so we’ll always have an adequate water supply.”

Mr. Couming credited STEM students at Caesar Rodney and Dover high schools, who helped build the new tank during its earlier stages as part of a two-year Laboratory for Learning program, sponsored by the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers.

“They helped during the early stages,” Mr. Couming said. It helped them with studying engineering problems that dealt with the tank.

“That was important because each of the tanks need to stand at the same elevation because when the water goes in, it doesn’t get pumped up to the tank and stored,” he said.

“The pressure on the water as it comes out and into the system forces the water up,” he added.

“When the pressure drops and the pressure builds up it needs to be equal in each tank.”

Once workers finish assembling and wielding certain portions of the tank, it will then be cleaned, sterilized and painted.

“We’re hoping everything is done by the summer,” Mr. Couming said. “But we’re excited about the project. We’ve been planning this for a long time, as we need water for the future.”

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