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Dickinson surges ahead with plans for new water tank

DICKINSON - Kyle Steffan and other residents of Dickinson's State addition have been dealing with weak water pressure for years.

"There's just no pressure in the showerheads, and the other one's the sprinklers," Steffan said.

But Steffan and his neighbors may get a more forceful flow once a new water tank is installed on the west side of town, said Dickinson public works manager Skip Rapp.

The city has plans to erect a 52-foot-tall water tank on the hill near the intersection of 15th Street West and State Avenue. Depending on the weather, construction would start this fall or in the spring of 2009, Rapp said.

The column-shaped ground tank should improve water pressure for folks in the State addition and the neighborhood north of Dickinson High School because it will sit at a higher elevation than their current source of treated water. In homes where the flow is very low, 35 pounds per square inch in some cases, the pressure could double, Rapp said.

"At 30 psi on a second floor of a two-story, it'd probably dribble out of the showerhead," he said.

The new tank will serve not just the State addition and customers north of DHS, but also the entire northern half of Dickinson. Right now, only one tank, at 26th Street East and Sims Street, serves the city above 12th Street, Rapp said.

"As a community grows, you know, you want a certain amount of storage...where you don't overtax that tank," he said. "In summer months during high usage, we're filling that tank about every two hours which is getting about to the limit of what that tank can even handle."

North Dickinson's current tank holds 500,000 gallons and the new tank will have the same capacity. The second tank will work in tandem with the existing one, providing backup and improving fire protection by boosting the pressure of water coming from hydrants, Rapp said.

Dickinson has two other tanks that provide water to the southern half of town: an 840,000 gallon tower in Rocky Butte Park and another tank on Fourth Avenue East that holds 500,000 gallons, Rapp said.

"The elevated towers actually supply