Southgate gets ready to tender for the "top" water tower in Ontario

·3 min read

Southgate is submitting its preliminary design for a new water tower for Dundalk, to be located back of the community centre beside the new well (D4).

The proposal by Triton Engineering sets the highest water level in the tower at 571m. That’s higher than the top of the CN Tower, which is 553m.

Admittedly, the Ishpatina Ridge in Temagami is Ontario’s highest uninhabited point at about 693m.

But the new tower at Ontario’s highest inhabited point could well set a new “high water mark” for the whole province – with no adjectives needed to qualify the claim.

The project, anticipated in capital budgets for some years, now is estimated at about $5.7 million. That number has gone up as the cost of steel has risen. But if the township waits for the price to come back down, council heard Sept. 1, there is no certainty when or if that will happen.

The previous Development Charges calculation included a project cost of between $3 million and $4 million. Next year, the DC bylaw will be renewed, and the revised cost attributed to growth (90 percent-plus) will be included and collected.

Along with Development Charges, an Infrastructure Ontario debenture will fund the remainder, the staff report said. Triton Engineering completed the design and has created an RFP for construction.

Once the comments come back from the Ministry of Environment and any changes made, the project can go to tender, council heard.

An on-grade reservoir of 1,300 cubic metres is used in Dundalk now, and the water tower with triple the capacity is expected to increase water available for fire-fighting and make water pressure more reliable.

The elevated water tower design is based on meeting an expected population of 11,153 in the year 2045. Its storage volume will be about 4,000 cubic metres.

The estimate of the present population in the report is 2,774. In the immediate future, the tower will not run at full capacity, as the water needs to turn over to preserve quality.

The tower will reduce costs to pump water to distribute to local users. It will be filled by the wells pumping to the tower on off-peak rate times, which should reduce costs.

Right now, pumps run continuously to provide pressure, and fire flows are achieved through the use of a large diesel fire pump.

The project could be tendered this fall with construction in 2022, the staff report said.

It’s possible it could be commissioned by the end of next year “if we get shovels in the ground early,” said Public Works Manager Jim Ellis. There are limited choices of companies that do these projects, he said.

The tower will be used for the township’s electronic water-meter reading system. As well, communication companies are expected to want to lease space.

Near-by, Grey Highlands is currently testing its new replacement water tower for Markdale near Grey Gables, with an 18-metre base topped by an almost 3,000 cubic-metre tank, another 10 metres high. The tower is expected to improve water pressure in town compared with the present standpipe (ground-level) tower.

That project was tendered at about $4.7 million, including demolition of the old tower and engineering costs.

No one has discussed the final design that will adorn the outside of the tank in Dundalk. Grey Highlands did a public survey on whether to include the logo, and ended up going with words only.

But it’s worth mentioning that every year, there is a North America wide contest for the best-looking water tower.

Sometimes, a simple design with a bold, plain font takes top place.

And sometimes it’s having a little fun with the shape – as in 2017, when Wasaga Beach was one of the top finishers, with the round storage area painted as a beach ball, with a wave splash on one side.

The contest has a commercial tie-in, since the contest was started in 2006 by Tnemec to celebrate “the innovative and creative uses of its coatings.”

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting