If you’re the nostalgic sort of person who enjoys gazing at water towers with the name of whatever town you happen to be in printed across them, you should stop reading.
The city of Ozark entered into a contract for the deconstruction of two water towers, both of which are visible from U.S. Highway 65 and other key streets. They are set to come down sometime in early to mid-2020.
The Ozark Board of Aldermen approved a $67,889 contract with Indeqx to demolish two water towers plus a standpipe, all of which have been taken out of use. The first water tower sits east of U.S. Highway 65 near the Dolby Laboratories plant on North 18th Street. The second tower is also just east of Highway 65 on West Tennison Drive behind the Ozark Walmart.
“They are no longer needed due to improvements that we made to our system. Right now, we have more water storage than we have ever had,” Ozark Director of Public Works Jeremy Parsons said.
Parsons explained that the water towers are no longer necessary for the operation of the city water system, and could potentially become a financial burden.
“There is no reason to have these tanks. They are just a maintenance and reliability concern,” Parsons said.
Parsons explained the the tower near Walmart never truly served its intended purpose.
“Unfortunately, that tower was never properly constructed, to be honest,” Parsons said.
What was once known as the FASCO has fallen out of use as Ozark has expanded.
“Due to its elevation, it’s not currently doing much for our system. That will also take off one of our pressure planes there,” Parsons said.
One of the most measured and engineered factors of any municipal water system is its fire flow, or how much water can be moved at a minimum working pressure so that the water is available for fire fighting.
A 30,000-gallon standpipe in the Quail Run subdivision that the city of Ozark inherited through an annexation agreement is also scheduled to be demolished. Parsons said the Quail Run water tank has not been used in some time.
“It’s been sitting there out of use,” Parsons said. “A lot of these are no longer in use because we’ve connected the city with different water mains and improved fire flow.”
Parsons explained that maintaining empty water towers is a costly process for the Ozark Department of Public Works.
“We recently committed to painting and power washing some of these [water towers]. These can accumulate to thousands and thousands of dollars just to maintain these,” Parsons said. “The structural integrity—these towers are designed to hold water. When they’re empty, they become much more of a liability.”
Parsons said the other option would be for the city to keep the water towers and fill them with sand, which he said would also not be economical when compared to demolition.
The Ozark Board of Aldermen finalized the demolition contract with Indeqx, a Seymour-based company that performs “industrial equipment extraction,” at its meeting Dec. 16.