Crews begin installing new Ferriday water tank

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 26, 2010

FERRIDAY — Construction on the new Ferriday water tank is under way.

Thursday crews worked to move into place the large metal sheets that will form the sides.

The walls are being built from the top down. The top ring of the tank was complete Thursday afternoon, as was approximately half of the bottom, and if all goes well they should start building the top deck today.

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“They are putting the panels on the tank right now, and they said it should be done in 12 days with good weather,” said Charles Falkenheiner, site inspector for Bryant Hammett and Associates, the project’s engineering firm.

The biggest hindrance will be any rain that falls, because the heavy equipment can get stuck in the mud surrounding the new tank site, Falkenheiner said.

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said he spent much of the morning Thursday watching the crews work, and that he was impressed with the efficiency in which things were getting done.

“They are really working,” he said. “They just got there and just look at them already.”

Once the construction is finished, the tank will have to be checked for leaks and any pressure problems.

The Department of Health and Hospitals and the project engineers will both test the tank, McGlothin said.

While the new tank is being tied into the water system, there will be a point where the new tank and the old tank are being used simultaneously, but once the new tank is approved the use will switch to it exclusively, McGlothin said.

Switching to the new tank is one of the final steps the town will have to take to lift the boil-water order.

“Whatever help they need from us, we will do,” he said. “We want to get that done as quickly as possible so we can start our second phase.”

The planned second phase is to get new water meters for the water system, McGlothin said.

The town has several hundred broken water meters, and a recent town audit recommended the situation be remedied so the town can properly bill water customers.

A 2007 audit of the water system by Triton Water Technologies suggested that the town could collect as much as $300,000 a year in additional billings if the town could accurately measure how much water was being consumed.