Provin Mountain Storage Tanks
Since FY19 the Commission has undertaken several maintenance projects at Provin Mountain. Provin Mountain, located in Agawam, houses an integral part of the Commission’s water system, where finished water is stored before flowing, mostly by gravity throughout the distribution system. The three active storage tanks at Provin Mountain, built between 1928 and 1960, each hold approximately 12-17 million gallons of treated drinking water, and help maintain distribution system pressure even during periods of high demand.
Constructed in 1909, Tank 1, with 17 million gallons of storage capacity, was the oldest tank at Provin Mountain. After over a century in service, an engineering analysis determined the tank was no longer structurally sound. Also, hydraulic analyses indicated that its storage capacity was no longer needed based on declining usage trends within the distribution system. In FY20 Tank 1 was drained, isolated, and removed from service. Tanks 2, 3, and 4 remain in service.
The Provin Mountain Tank Maintenance and Cleaning Project kicked-off in FY20 with the restoration of Tank 2. Storage Tank 2 is a 12-million-gallon finished water storage tank built in 1931 and structurally upgraded in 2012 to meet seismic code. An inspection of the tank revealed that the concrete roof was leaking after rain events. In September 2019 Tank 2 was taken offline to allow for the installation of an impermeable membrane cover over the tank. In addition to the cover, layers of protection for the liner were added with soil and grass encasing the membrane. Tank 2 was also cleaned in 2019 as part of the project.
A perimeter stormwater collection system was also built to capture rainfall runoff from the roof and discharge all water away from the tank to the east side of the mountain. To complete the project, and prevent further damage to the concrete roof, construction was completed using lightweight equipment to minimize loads on top of the concrete. Although this lengthened the construction period, the project was completed in time for the peak demand summer months, and Tank 2 was brought back online in June 2020.
The Provin Mountain storage tanks require routine maintenance and upkeep, so they remain operational. The Provin Mountain Tank Maintenance and Cleaning Project, to be completed by May 2021 will address the cleaning of Tanks 3 and 4. Cleaning will require the use of a dive team to enter the tanks with special safety gear. The project is expected to take approximately three months.
This maintenance project will comply with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation (MassDEP) regulations for routine cleaning of finished water storage tanks and help to maintain this integral part of the water transmission and distribution system for many years to come. The estimated cost of this project is $160,000.