Looking to meet future needs, members of the Oakdale City Council approved a plan to construct two new 600,000-gallon water tanks at the Nov. 4 council meeting.
The city currently has one water tank near Valley View Drive on a bluff above the Stanislaus River that needs to be replaced. Plans also call for the construction of a second water tank on Greger Road west of Kaufman Road.
In August the city hired RBF Consulting to review the city’s water storage capabilities, and learned the existing tank was in need of renovation. RBF also determined that the expense of renovating the tank would cost at least as much as replacing the tank entirely.
Next to the city’s current water storage tank is an older concrete tank, which is not in use. The city plans on also demolishing this water tank.
The current water tank on Valley View Drive, built in the 1960s, has a capacity of 500,000 gallons.
Public Works Director Joseph Leach told the council the city is currently unable to take the existing water tank offline for repairs and maintenance. He also indicated a failure of this single tank could leave large areas of the city without water.
Oakdale’s city staff determined earlier this year that the city should have a storage capacity of 1.2 million gallons of water. This figure also meets state mandates in order for the city to address various scenarios where this amount of storage might be necessary.
With the addition of a water tank on Greger Road on the south end of the city, residents will have two sources of water, as well as a safety valve in case one of the tanks is taken offline.
The proposed water tanks will be 43 feet tall and have a 51-foot diameter.
A representative of RBF Consulting said the project will include construction plans and construction bids. Construction is planned for the winter months when water demand within the city is at its lowest.
Oakdale Mayor Farrell Jackson noted the current site of the water tank on Valley View Drive is surrounded by trees, which softens the presence of the tanks. He asked the RBF representative if these trees would be removed or replaced by the construction process. The representative told Jackson most of the trees would remain, and added trees would also be planted at the Greger Road site.
During the initial environmental study, RBF distributed a notice of intent to residents in the area of both proposed water tank sites. A public comment period ran from Sept. 21 to Oct. 20. Comments were received by several public agencies, but none of the area residents responded.