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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Marcus water tower in bad shape

Thursday, April 29, 2010

MARCUS - The Marcus City Council held a special session Tuesday noon to hear an updated report on the town's water tower by Dick Frankforter, representing McGuire Iron of Sioux Falls.

This is what the underside of the dome of the Marcus water tower looks like with main pipe bringing the water up into the tank. Photo contributed
The Department of Natural Resources required an upgrade of the vent on the tower but as workers tried to situate it, nothing solid was there to attach it to in the tower. Mending a few holes just isn't enough to make the tower reliable.

The last time the tower was overhauled inside was back in 1987. It was noted that when the tower was built the pipes bringing water up to the top of the tank were put inside the tower rather than outside like most water towers had done at that time. The chlorinated water is forced up and splashes on the inside of the dome lid, which over a number of years has deteriorated the inside to a heap of rust. The dome is very thin now through wear.

Frankforter repeatedly noted that the problems are due to the design that was popular and the way things were done at that time. Sadly, putting off doing necessary repairs is not a matter of choice but of necessity for the Council. He went onto say that he didn't have a cost figure to present to the Council as so many options can vary a great deal. The inside is very rusty. Although the steel wall seams overlap, the seams were not welded closed on the inside, allowing water to get in between the sheets and thus, causing rust to form.

This is a close-up view of the over head fill assembly of the Marcus water tower, which you can see how very rusty it is and the dark spots show rust wearing the metal away. Photo contributed
The crew has been sandblasting the rust away and has come up with many holes which need repair. A stainless steel T will be put in at the top so the water doesn't splash on the dome and hit the roof. It's the forceful water coming up and hitting the top that has made much of the problem.

In the next week or two, the sandblasting will be completed and then a large washer will be installed in the top after the old one has been removed. There will be a two-foot hole in the center for the water pipe to go through. Steel sheets may be rolled up to fit the curve structure. Cranes may also be used to get the sheets to the top of the tower. The diameter of a new plate will be about 20 feet that needs to fit around the curved top. It will take three days to get the sheets up and in place, according to Frankforter.

Of course, weather will determine how quickly work can be completed. The council has been fighting about 15 years to get the water tower maintenance done at a reasonable cost, knowing the town's budget it tight. The town will get a five-year warrantee on the work.

The town has to keep on letting water run from hydrants in order to keep the pressure down. Many folks have voiced their opinion thinking it's wasteful, but Frankforter cautioned there is nothing else to do and Marcus wouldn't want the whole tower ruined.

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