Special to The Sun: The Mount Laurel Township Municipal Utilities Authority has repaired corrosion growth from one of the township’s water storage tanks.
The Mount Laurel Township Municipal Utilities Authority (MLTMUA) has announced the completion of repairs to control corrosion growth and a repainting of the water-storage tank at the agency’s facility on South Church Street.
According to a press release, the water-storage tank (one of four in the township) can hold one million gallons of water and is a critical part of the MUA’s water system. The tank maintains emergency-supply storage and provides needed pressure to the township water system.
The MLTMUA utilizes its asset management program to determine the useful life of all infrastructure and equipment. The water tank hasn’t been rehabbed for about 20 years – its rehabilitation was cited in the township’s 2021 capital budget – but it continues to be inspected on a yearly basis, according to the authority.
MLTMUA Executive Director Pamela Carolan stated in the release that scheduled maintenance work on the tank was targeted for winter months, since Mt. Laurel tends to have lower per-capita residential water use during that period.
“Because the tank had to be emptied in order to perform the rehab, work was scheduled in the winter months when demand is down,” she noted.
The township advertised the project before contracting the lowest bidder, Dynamic Sandblasting and Painting LLC of Eatontown. The work was then expanded to provide updated safety equipment for workers, including a new ladder gate, cable-safety system and safety-climb system. The total cost of the project was $410,000 and also included design and engineering costs.
Special to The Sun: Included in Mount Laurels water tank repairs was an upgrade of safety equipment for staff members who maintain the site.
In the announcement press release, Russell Trice, operations engineer for the MLTMUA, emphasized the importance of addressing the corrosion.
“The timing was perfect, as a recent inspection found large areas of chalking and oxidation,” he explained. “Without this type of preventative maintenance, it would eventually be necessary to replace the entire tank, at an estimated cost of $3 million.”
Diane Ordille, administrative assistant for the MLTMUA, noted that staff members had observed corrosion growth with the tank that they considered the most crucial issue to address.
“We were seeing the progression of the corrosion and knew our safety equipment was out of date for our employees to access the top or inside of the tank,” she noted. “The areas of corrosion could have grown to the point where the entire tank would have to be replaced. That would cost anywhere from $2.5 to $3.5 million, so this was basically preventive maintenance.”
Special to The Sun: The repaired and newly-painted water tank on South Church Street in Mt. Laurel.