Repair Wesctcott Reservoir

Post-Standard letter to the Editor.

June 22, 2008

To the Editor:

The city has proposed to fix the 105 million gallon Westcott reservoir by replacing it with two 35 million gallon concrete tanks. The price tag is $40 million.

The city was told that the the current structure is beyond repair. How such a simple concrete structure that lays on the ground can be beyond repair is unclear. A leak should be repairable.

The EPA Water Security website provides detailed information on ways and costs to line or cover a reservoir. Since 2000, the city has received at least $4 million to repair the reservoir, including at least $1 million specifically to replace the liner. What happened to the money? And why did the city drop the repair option after having researched the solution and applied for and received grants to proceed?

Based on EPA website numbers and a survey of similar reservoir repair projects in other cities, including Pebble Beach, CA, which involved embankment repairs, new Hypalon liner, leak detection system, numerous new water management equipment and controls, and much more, it seems that the Westcott reservoir could be fixed and relined, have equipment extensively upgraded, and an optional floating cover added for less than $12 million. Probably much less. The remaining $28 million could be better spent on numerous city improvement projects in need of funding.

I urge the city to further review the repair option and make public a detailed report explaining their final decision.

Carlo Moneti