Washington City Hall

Washington’s fourth water tower likely won’t be built until sometime in 2022, according to city officials who discussed the project at Tuesday’s Board of Public Works meeting. 

The city’s other water towers are located throughout the city, including one in the industrial park, one on Clay Street and one at Crestview Drive. 

The new water tower would be the second on the city’s east side. 

It is likely going to be built on property the city is purchasing at the southeast corner of South Point and North Goodes Mill roads. The city has negotiated the purchase of the property but has not closed on it, according to city officials. They declined to disclose the name of the property owner.

The cost of building the 1 million-gallon tank water tower, which is being partially financed by the city’s capital improvement sales tax revenues and money from the city’s water fund, remains to be determined, according to Washington’s Director of Public Works John Nilges. In 2017, officials said the cost of building the water tower could cost between $1.2 million and $3.1 million depending on the design. Nilges said the new water tower will likely resemble the water tower on Clay Street, though the tower’s design won’t be finalized until later this year or early next year. 

“Metal prices have gone up,” Nilges said. “So, again, the need is somewhat there for the tower, but should it be delayed a bit to kind of get the best price? That’s what we are going to be looking at next year.”

Discussions about adding a new water tower to the city’s eastside have been ongoing for years. 

In 2015, a citywide hydraulic study commissioned by the city predicted that by 2022 the city would need a new water tower based on projected growth. 

“What this (new water tower) does is keep up with the growth that has already come along and also really provides better fire protection,” Nilges said. “This tower has been identified to be storage for fire protection for the future.”

With the three water towers already in the city, Washington has a capacity of storing 2.5 million gallons of water with only 500,000 of those gallons being on the city’s east side. 

Adding this tank would increase the amount of stored water to 3.5 million gallons citywide and 1.5 million gallons of water on the east side.

Washington needs to have that water in the tanks to give pressure to residents and also to provide fire protection to residents, according to city officials.