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Wendy Reuer, Published November 19 2010

Biggest Fargo water tower going up

Right now, a large silo seems to have been built at 32nd Avenue South and 42nd Street in Fargo.

But by spring, the large cylinder will take shape into the biggest water tower in the city of Fargo.

The $3.5 million project began in March when the foundation was built far down into the ground. The concrete pedestal – or silo- shaped building that can now be seen – was finished this fall with a 98-foot-wide metal tank to be placed on top next spring.

The finished water tower will be 125 feet high with the ability to hold 2 million gallons of water, double the size of the current largest Fargo tank.

The inside of the pedestal will be used for city storage, to house future water distribution equipment, fire protection storage and emergency storage.

“It’s about a 50-foot inside diameter, so it’s a pretty big space,” said Roger Hagen, vice president of Houston Engineering and project manager on the Water Tower No. 11 site.

Hagen said the city requested this type of design and has OK’d renderings of the tank that will give it a similar look to other towers in the city with the city logo.

Water towers generally work with gravity. The towers are tall to provide pressure. Each foot of tower height provides 0.43 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure. A typical municipal water supply has between 50 and 100 PSI.

The tower’s height is determined to be tall enough to supply that level of pressure to all of the houses and businesses in the area it serves. The tower can be placed on high ground to help with pressure, or in flat areas, such as Fargo, it is simply taller.

Once finished, the water tower foundation and pedestal will consist of about 1.4 miles of pipe piling, 650 cubic yards of concrete and 69,400 pounds of reinforcement.

“It’s kind of an exciting project for Fargo,” Hagen said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530