The District of Houston is seeking funding to upgrade the water system.
In 2012, council had a study done of the water reservoir and found major issues with the roof, requiring serious repairs in the next five years.
Opus Dayton and Knight, the consulting engineer, also found that the current water system is lacking redundancy (extra supply in case of failure) and does not have enough water supply for fire fighting a large structural fire.
Last council meeting, council considered five options, opting to seek funding for the best water system and prepared to settle for less if they don’t get funding.
Council considered the following options:
1) Building a new reservoir on Mount Davis Way and the necessary pipe system for $2.25 million.
2) Building a new fused, steel reservoir beside the existing reservoir for $1.25 million.
3) Repairing the roof of the existing reservoir for $620,000.
4) Building a new reservoir on Mt. Davis Way, with piping, and repairing the roof of the existing reservoir for $2.87 million.
5) Building a new reservoir beside the existing one and repairing the old one for $1.87 million.
With repairing the old roof, council discussed whether repairs could be done without decommissioning the reservoir.
John Guenther, Director of Engineering and Development Services, said they could supply the water system from the aquifer as a backup while the reservoir is being repaired for three months.
That would be risky for three months as it would hamper the fire fighting ability, said Councillor Rick Lundrigan.
Chief Administrative Officer Linda Poznikoff said the other thing to consider is whether the main structure of the old reservoir is in good enough condition to make roof repairs worthwhile.
Guenther was directed to look into those questions.
He thought the best option was to build a reservoir beside the existing one, then consider repairing the old one at a later date, he said.
Mayor Bill Holmberg said council had previously considered building a new reservoir on Mount Davis Way because it would open up new commercial land, and it would bring that neighbourhood onto the water system.
Guenther said in order to do that, they would have to supply sewer services as well.
He added that building a new reservoir beside the current one would allow them to use the current pipe system. A new piping system for a reservoir on Mt. Davis Way would cost more then the new reservoir itself, he said.
“It doesn’t hurt any,” Holmberg said.
“And if we don’t get [the funding], we can’t do it.”
“Let’s go for it big and if we don’t get it we go back to what we can afford,” Lundrigan said.