January 10, 2013

Water Tower Hill: Up With the New, Down With the Old

Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
As part of a larger re-infrastructure project, a construction and engineering crew at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma demolished the water tower located on the far south western part of the base, Jan. 3. In its place, two new water towers with a 50% higher capacity rate were built.

YUMA, Ariz. – This year, the skyline at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s Water Tower Hill will look a little different.

As part of a larger re-infrastructure project, a construction and engineering crew at MCAS Yuma demolished the water tower located on the far south western part of the base, Jan. 3.

“To the best of my knowledge, the plan to take down the existing tank is just another part of the infrastructure upgrades,” said Navy Lt. David McCloud, MCAS Yuma’s assistant resident officer-in-charge of construction and a native Anderson, South Carolina. “Now there are two new water towers sitting next to where the old one was up on the hill.”

The tower, which stood atop of what became known as Water Tower Hill, also stood the test of time. It serviced the on-base community for several years. Hard to miss, the 24-foot mass had the Marine Corps’ Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblazoned across its broad face for all to see. The tanks elevated locale was ideal given the pressure necessary to reach everyone in the station community.

But, like the Corps itself, upgrades must come to pass.

“There was a whole infrastructure upgrade associated with the new Joint Strike Fighter coming here. There have been upgrades to communications, sewer, electrical services,” said McCloud. “The towers being the water component to that.”

In its place, two new water towers have been built. With each sporting a diameter of 42-feet and a height of roughly 80-feet, the two giants have a 50% higher capacity than their retired predecessor.

“The towers are able to hold 750,000 gallons each,” said McCloud. “We’ve extended the lifespan of the tanks and we have more flexibility for maintenance, mechanical issues. We have the ability to isolate one, while keeping one on service.”

As with many other renovation projects recently completed aboard the air station, the new water towers provide a superior level of natural resource conservancy. This is in part due to both towers now being in compliance with current EPA guidelines for drinking water storage including insulation and constant solar-powered mixing wheels inside to prevent stagnate water.

As of right now, no plans are put in place for the use of the land that’s left behind. Rubble and debris from the on-site demolition crew will be cleaned up, leaving the spot empty for possible future training real estate.

It took a crew eight hours to take the old tower down. For MCAS Yuma’s water distribution system, a new era has settled on the hilltop.

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