Proposed Water Tank Replacement Project
Proposed Water Tank Replacement Project
Water storage is an essential component of a municipal water system. Water storage stabilizes pressure fluctuations,
- The Paines Hill, Cat Rock and Doublet Hill Water Storage Tanks are nearing the end of their useful life.
- Both the Doublet Hill and Cat Rock tanks will require recoating within 10-15 years if they are not replaced.
- The Paines Hill tank is structurally and aesthetically in poor condition and requires significant interior and exterior rehabilitation.
Paines Hill Water Storage Tank
- 70 years old
- Older prestressed concrete
- 1 million gallons
Cat Rock Water Storage Tank
- 77 years old
- Welded steel
- 0.85 million gallons
Doublet Hill Water Storage Tank
- 92 years old
- Riveted steel
- 0.78 million gallons
Under existing conditions, Weston’s water system has no active storage; this storage deficit will worsen over time if not addressed. In order to consistently and effectively meet the Town’s needs for residential use, firefighting, and emergency situations, a water system must have sufficient tank space at the right elevation to hold water for active storage. Active storage in a water system meets the fluctuating demands for everyday water use and includes sufficient volume for firefighting needs. The Town’s lack of active storage is directly related to several factors. These include the growth of the Town in the decades since the tanks were built, thereby increasing the amount of water needed daily, and also the construction of buildings well above the serviceable grade line of the water system. The lack of active storage means that the Wellesley Street booster pumps must operate more constantly than recommended, and at times, around the clock, to pump water into the tanks. It also means that the tanks have no capacity for firefighting purposes under maximum day demand conditions. Essentially, the Town does not have the 2.50 million gallons (MG) of active storage that is required to satisfy its existing and future water storage needs. To obtain the 2.5 million gallons of active storage that the Town requires all three tanks must be replaced and the elevation of each one increased. Until active storage volume is added, new development at higher elevations should be curtailed.
Updated March 1, 2023:
Water Storage Tank FAQs
- Active storage provides water service by gravity.
No mechanical equipment is needed for water to flow out of the tanks to serve the Town.
- Why do tanks need to be increased in height?
Height equals pressure. The current elevation is too low to serve the community.
- Why not purchase more MWRA water?
Weston has adequate supply, but insufficient storage capacity for the water it receives. Enough water is coming into the system; we simply have no way to effectively use the water the Town receives.
- Can we use pumps instead of increasing storage volume?
Not without significant cost and the possibility of service disruption due to the need to service or repair a pump station. We would need more pumps, and they would need to be larger. Pump maintenance would be a significant expense. Existing distribution piping wouldn’t support high flow demands or the higher pressures needed to overcome friction in the pipes. Relying on mechanical pumps for service is risky, and pumps may not be able to keep up with high demand situations such as an active fire or high usage during the summer when water usage increases.
- Can booster pumps be provided to affected areas?
Tanks with sufficient capacity positioned at the correct elevation are the most cost effective and reliable way to ensure flow of water throughout the community in all types of situations. Trying to resolve the problem with booster pumps will require numerous pump stations, and significant reconfiguration and replacement of water mains throughout the Town’s system.
- Can conservation efforts eliminate the need for new Tanks?
Weston has been promoting conservation for years through various methods, including tiered water rates, requirement for low flow plumbing fixtures, and even/odd watering days in the summer. Any reductions in water usage from conservation measures have likely already been realized. Conservation cannot make up for our storage deficit. The storage deficit can only be solved by tanks that are properly sized at the correct elevation.
The Select Board held three virtual open forums on the need to replace and upgrade our water tanks. Click below to watch the videos.
- Meeting # 1 on February 16, 2023,7 pm –9 pm to discuss the engineering and hydraulics of the proposed new system.
- Meeting # 2 on March 21, 2023, 7 pm - 9pm, to discuss siting of the proposed new tanks.
- Meeting # 3 on April 25, 2023, 7 pm - 8pm to discuss the finances of this project. :