Officials tout benefits of Dover’s new water tank

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A new city of Dover water tank is located in the Garrisons Oak Park along White Oak Road. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — City residents may not have noticed the new 1.5-million gallon storage tank in Garrison Oak Technical Park.

So, Dover officials are quick — and eager — to point out its benefits.

The water tank has been under construction for two years. It will not only help provide service to the three businesses in the Garrison Oak Facility, but will help the city in other ways as well, officials say.

“It’s always good to increase our reliability for our customers,” said Sharon Duca, public works director for the city. “We’re excited about what the new tank will be able to do for everyone.”

The Garrison Oak facility has three businesses: Uzin Utz flooring plant, Dover Sun Park solar farm and Calpine electricity generation plant.

Ms. Duca said the new tank will allow Calpine to increase its capacity for the future.

Furthermore, it will help maintain the city’s water pressure.

Stu Widom, Calpine’s director of government and regulatory affairs, applauded the city’s efforts to enhance the park’s growth.

“The city’s continued investment in infrastructure improvements to the Garrison Oak Technical Park enhances the park’s attraction for new facilities of all types, as well as business development ventures,” Mr. Widom said.

“We applaud the city’s vision in completing these improvements to nurture the park’s growth,” he added.

The city awarded a $3.4 million contract to CB&I Construction of New Castle in June 2013. The work was to include piping, valves, excavation, backfill, testing, site paving and fencing.

“This has been in works for some time,” Ms. Duca said.

It also will provide backup for firefighters, as well.

There are a few other water tanks throughout the city as well, including one on Walker Road and College Avenue which holds 1 million gallons of water.

Others are at North Street, Bayard Avenue and Kent Aero Park; they hold 250,000 gallons of water.

“This one is significantly larger because we knew there was going to be an increased demand for the water, due to all the businesses in that park,” Ms. Duca said. “We didn’t want any problems knowing how much of demand the water tank was going to have.”

She said the city’s east side uses about 1 million gallons of water per day.

“The demand is less during the night,” Ms. Duca said. “During the day the water is drawn out by Dover’s commercial and residential customers.

“The levels in the city’s towers drops, so at night when the there isn’t much of a demand that’s when water is replenished.”

Crews filled the new tank earlier in the week, and there was a possibility of residents having discolored water during the process.

Filling the tank causes flow reversals in the system that scours the pipes, which causes the discoloration.

The water still meets all drinking water standards, officials said.

Dover uses groundwater from aquifers. Nine wells are in the confined Cheswold aquifer, six in the confined Piney Point aquifer and seven are in the unconfined Columbia aquifer.

An aquifer is an underground layer of rock or sand that can absorb and hold water.

“We haven’t had any complaints,” Ms. Duca said. “The primary phase is done. The last phase consists of testing the tank.”

When that happens residents might experience having discolored water.

She advised those who do to run cold water to clear their service lines.

It is recommended that one faucet be utilized to clear service lines, preferably an outside faucet.

Anyone with questions about their water can contact the department at (302) 736-7025.

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