Last updated: March 24. 2013 11:29PM - 2013 Views

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Pennsylvania American Water will spend close to $1.5 million in Pittston Township this year constructing a new water tank and rehabilitating another, company officials said.

The work is part of $16.5 million in capital investments the company will make this year to water tanks across Pennsylvania.

“Storage tanks are a critical component of our water infrastructure because they ensure that adequate, reliable water supplies are always available for the communities we serve,” said Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water, noting that the company owns and maintains more than 275 storage structures. “The new tanks we’re building are necessary to meet customer demands for reliable water service and fire protection.”

The Pittston Township structure is one of nine new storage tanks the company will construct this year. The million-gallon steel tank is expected to be completed by year’s end at a cost of $1.35 million.

The tank is being constructed near the company’s Nesbitt Water Treatment Plant, said company spokeswoman Susan Turcmanovich.

“There is currently one tank there along Route 502, and we are constructing a second tank for added reliability. This would also allow us to take the first tank offline for rehab work in the future,” she noted.

Four other new tanks are on tap for Northeastern Pennsylvania, including ones in Newton Township, Lackawanna County; Susquehanna Depot, Susquehanna County; and two in Delaware Township, Pike County.

An existing 250,000-gallon-capacity tank in the Grimes Industrial Park in Pittston Township will be one of 14 the company will rehabilitate this year. Turcmanovich said the cost to rehabilitate this tank is $150,000. There are two tanks in that industrial park, she said, and the first one was rehabilitated last year.

Other tanks in the region are also slated for rehabilitation, including those in Scranton, Fell Township and Montrose.

“Our rehabilitation projects not only extend the tanks’ lifespan, but they also represent a significant cost savings in contrast to replacing the structures,” Pape said.

Rehabilitation crews will strip the original paint and apply a new coating, which serves as a protective barrier that prevents the steel from rusting and compromising water quality. During rehab work, the company does not expect customers to experience service interruptions. The projects include mitigation procedures to ensure that paint fumes and dust levels are in compliance with air pollution control requirements mandated by local health departments and the state Department of Environmental Protection, the water company said in a news release.

The newly constructed tanks will provide increased storage capacity to meet customer demand and improve fire protection, while the company’s rehab program of inspecting, sandblasting and repainting the existing tanks will extend their service life and protect water quality.

The estimated cost of the new tank construction is $11.5 million, and the rehab projects total approximately $5 million for a combined capital investment of nearly $16.5 million.

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