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Sandy Hook residents living near the site proposed for a one-million-gallon water storage tank this week posed a range of questions to representatives of the Aquarion Water Company. The firm wants to build the concrete structure to improve its local public water supply’s functioning and reliability, including fire hydrant reliability.
The Bridgeport-based company held an informational session on March 28 at Edmond Town Hall to explain several of its planned water system improvement projects, including the water tank, which the firm proposes for 13 Old Green Road. The site is on the west side of Old Green Road, across Old Green Road from its intersection with Valley Field Road South. The site is in a R-2 (Residential) zone, in which water tanks are allowed through a special zoning permit.
The water tank would be set back roughly 900 feet from Old Green Road. The columnar tank would stand about 50 feet tall and about 62 feet in diameter. The tank would occupy just over 3,000 square feet of ground area.
Aquarion currently operates a 540,000-gallon steel water storage tank at a high elevation at 14 Reservoir Road.
About 20 people attended the Aquarion-sponsored meeting. At the residents’ request, Aquarion agreed to soon set up some tethered helium balloons at the site to indicate the height and the width of the proposed water tank.
If Aquarion receives approvals to construct the tank, it would buy the deep 5.17-acre lot at 13 Old Green Road, which contains a Colonial-style house that was built in 1970.
Aquarion has filed an application with the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) for a special zoning permit and for a site development plan approval to construct the tank. A P&Z public hearing on the proposal had been scheduled for April 5, but will be postponed, according to Aquarion. The date of that hearing remains unclear. The project has received a wetlands/watercourses protection permit from the town.
According to Aquarion’s P&Z application, the firm had considered multiple locations for a new water storage tank before proposing the 13 Old Green Road site, based on its elevation, general suitability, and the current owner’s willingness to sell the property.
The 13 Old Green Road site meets the firm’s technical requirements for such a structure, while causing minimal disturbance to the surrounding area, according to Aquarion. After a tank is constructed, the tank would be connected to Aquarion’s central water system via a new 16-inch-diameter water main. The firm serves approximately 2,200 local customers through its large central water supply system, plus two much smaller water systems. Aquarion’s high-yield water wells located at 219 South Main Street supply the central water system.
Carolyn Giampe, an Aquarion manager for engineering and planning, presented the water tank proposal at the March 28 session, explaining the technical aspects of the project.
A show of hands at the meeting indicated that the large majority of residents there use domestic water wells for their water supplies. The Old Green Road section of town, which has a high elevation, is known to sometimes require that very deep domestic water wells be drilled to provide sufficient water. Residents living adjacent to the new water main, which would connect the water tank to the Aquarion water system, would have the option of connecting to the Aquarion water system, provided that they cover applicable costs.
In response to residents’ questions about the water tank proposal, Ms Giampe described the visibility of the tank from adjacent properties, explaining that evergreen trees would be planted, as necessary, to provide visual buffering for people living nearby.
If water tank approvals are received in a timely manner, the project could start construction during the coming summer/fall and be completed by the fall of 2019, she said.
Regarding questions on a water storage tank’s effect on nearby property values, Ms Giampe referred residents to a detailed report on the topic included in Aquarion’s P&Z application.
Asked what Aquarion would do if its water tank proposal does not receive the required approvals, Ms Giampe responded that the firm would then look for another site for such a facility because its water system requires additional water storage to meet performance requirements.