The City of Brazil is looking at all the options when it comes to the construction of a new water tower.
On Tuesday, representatives from Landmark, Fort Worth, Texas, presented information regarding Composite Elevated Water Storage Tanks to city officials, employees of the Brazil Water Department and representatives of Hannum, Wagle and Cline Engineering (HWC), Terre Haute, which is the city's engineering firm.
"We like to meet directly with potential clients considering a new elevated water tank so they understand their options and can make fully informed decisions," Landmark Business Development Director Philip A. Malachowski said. "Our company is the originator of the composite tank."
HWC Professional Engineer/City Engineer Brian Pohlar said the city is considering constructing either a composite or spheroid tank in the northwest corner of Craig Park, with the spheroid option most likely going to be an alternate bid.
Malachowski told The Brazil Times the meeting is a way of comprehensively presenting what a composite tank is, how it is constructed, and how it compares with other types of tanks -- multi-leg, spheroid and hydropillar.
"The main competitor of the composite tank for large tanks is the hydropillar, and both are the most contemporary styles of tanks," he said. "The main difference between the tank styles is that the composite tank has a concrete support pedestal compared to all-steel tanks that have a steel support pedestal."
He added that for a 750,000-gallon elevated tank, which is what the city wants to construct, an all-steel spheroid or multi-leg tank would potentially come in at a lower initial cost than a composite, but would incur more maintenance costs in the long run.
"There could be between a $50,000-$150,000 initial savings by purchasing a multi-leg or spheroid, but a conservative 60-year life cycle estimate shows that a composite tank would cost about $320,000 for maintenance compared to $373,000 for a spheroid and $480,000 for a multi-leg," Malachowski said during the presentation. "That is a conservative estimate because tanks should be able to last 100 years with reasonable maintenance."
Brazil Water Supervisor Jake Raubuch said the potential savings in maintenance costs is a positive in reviewing the options.
"Our tank is in such a condition now, that it is beyond maintenance," Raubuch said.
Malachowski also pointed out that a composite tank has the ability to withstand high wind speeds and seismic activity. "One of the composite tanks we constructed has withstood a 200 mph tornado in Stroud, Okla." Also, addressing a wall thickness question, he stated, "The nominal wall thickness is 8 inches, but typically the concrete support wall is 11-12 inches." Malachowski suggested that when the city puts the project out for bids, that specification language be included to allow a post-bid analysis of maintenance costs for award purposes.
While describing the processes involved in constructing the support pedestal and tank, Malachowski emphasized the need for "Architectural Concrete" in the specifications.
"This requires the review of concrete mix designs and placement procedures to ensure the uniformity of the support wall surface," he said. "Test panels can also be utilized to serve as a reference for the actual wall to guarantee results in the final product."
Malachowski also outlined another benefit of the composite storage tank since mildew does not form on unpainted concrete. "We have had instances where mildew has formed on the steel tank itself, while the concrete support remained clean. The mildew can be removed through power washing, even with a bleach mixture. The composite tank has become the style of choice for owners, consultants and communities," Malachowski said.
Brazil Assistant Supervisor of Water Distribution asked about the possibility of adding a sealant to the concrete for increased protection against the elements, which Malachowski said is not typically necessary.
"Usually, a sealant is not applied to the concrete, but it can be done and is not expensive," Malachowski said.
Malachowski presented information about the construction results of other companies in the business, along with showing the best and worst possibilities of each, including Landmark.
Although the initial groundbreaking date for the water tower has been pushed back, Pohlar told The Brazil Times the process is at a point in which construction could begin by late summer.
"The environmental review is completed, and the project could be put out to bid around the middle of May," he said. "There is still a lot of work to be done and the city will be applying for a water grant to help pay for this, along with other water projects."
Malachowski added that once the construction begins, it would take at least a year to complete.
"Barring adverse weather conditions, our project timeline is 360 days," he said. "However, weather plays a major role because painting steel or placing concrete in winter conditions is not recommended. So there is the possibility construction could take longer than a year -- maybe 15 months."
Mayor Ann Bradshaw and Common Council of the City of Brazil member Brad Deal both said the presentation was "very interesting and informative," citing they received a lot of necessary details to make an informed decision of the type of tank to choose.
There will be a public hearing to discuss a water grant at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, in the Council Chambers of City Hall, prior to the meeting of the council.