Indiana, PA - Indiana County

WHITE TOWNSHIP: Planners approve Windy Ridge tank

by on December 11, 2013 10:50 AM

White Township planners on Tuesday gave final approval to site plans for the new Windy Ridge Business and Technology Park’s water tank.

The 725,000 gallon-capacity tank will serve the business and industrial park, which sits in the area of Route 286 and Route 422, not far from the Southpointe Plaza Walmart.

Approval from the township planning commission came pending an agreement with a resident near the site regarding property lines. Those involved in the project are still hashing out details with the individual.

Construction at the site should start next week, Gibson-Thomas Supervising Inspector John Emerson said after the meeting. Pipe was delivered Tuesday.

A significant amount of prep work must be completed before tank erection begins, according to Emerson.

“I would expect to see the tank complete and filled with water by mid-spring, May or June,” he said.

Gibson-Thomas began working with the Indiana County Development Corp. on the project in spring of 2012.

The plan keeps in mind the potential high need for water at Creps United Publications, the first business to move into the park.

New requirements calling for 12-foot lines, Emerson said, allow for a larger volume of water in a fire situation.

Creps rebuilt after an October 2012 fire destroyed its headquarters off Philadelphia Street.

The contract printing company is resuming operations at its new Windy Ridge site this week.

Other items officials discussed with Emerson at the planning commission meeting related to the structure and safety of the tank.

The tank, which will stand 80 feet tall and measure 30 feet in diameter, will be kept at slightly less than capacity. According to site plans, it will hold 721,000 gallons.

The tank will stand on the highest point on the property. The type of tank going up, Emerson said, is a structurally sound one.

“They are really good tanks,” he told officials. “We don’t have any problems.”

The only malfunction he has seen on similar tanks related to individual bolts rusting years later and causing a small, easily serviced leak.

In the unlikely event of a serious malfunction, the tank is designed to implode and collapse in upon itself, he said.

Officials waived the township’s 35-foot height restriction on freestanding structures, due the fact that the tank is a utility.

Three other water tanks in the township exceed the height restriction, Emerson told officials.

The project will also benefit the Indiana County Municipal Services Authority.

In the event of an emergency, Emerson said, the tank will be able to provide water to residents along the 286 corridor heading toward Jacksonville.

The tank construction is part of a larger ICMSA project that not only will erect the tank at Windy Ridge, but extend waterlines from Parkwood to West Lebanon, according to Emerson.

That project is expected to start mid-January.



Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for the Indiana Gazette. Among her assignments are coverage of the Apollo-Ridge School and Penns Manor Area school districts and also White Township.
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