The City of Corpus Christi plans to activate its 3 million gallon water storage tank on Holly Road next week if testing on the tower goes smoothly.
When the tower was last brought online in 2018, about 50 water pipes, mostly on Alameda Street and Port Avenue, burst, sending gallons of water into streets and yards for two days.
The water tower – built in 2017 and 2018 for $5.7 million – has remained offline since, along with a 750,000-gallon tower on Rand Morgan Road, which was built in 2018.
The city also plans to light up the Rand Morgan Road tower in about a month, City Manager Peter Zanoni said.
This time, the water towers will each have a permanent pressure reducer and a bypass pump, making it possible to control the pressure of the water released from the towers.
In July 2018, the coming online of the Holly Road water tower revealed weaknesses in the town’s water supply system. The pipes broke because they were too old to support the additional water presser.
Since 2019, the city has invested approximately $46 million to replace 247,000 linear feet of water pipes.
Prior to 2019, the city was spending $2-3 million a year to replace water pipes.
Design is set to begin this fall on a third new water tower at Flour Bluff on Starry Road. It will also have a pressure reducer and a bypass pump.
A fourth tower is planned on Nueces Bay Boulevard in 2035 when the city has added approximately 25,000 customer water connections. There are now around 100,000 connections within the city limits.
When all three water towers are in operation, the current ones on Starry Road, built in 1970, and Rand Morgan Road, built in 1930, the roads will be decommissioned.
The other two older reservoirs on Gollihar Road and Alameda Street will remain in line until the one on Nueces Bay Boulevard is built. These were both built in 1950.
In 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality gave the city a 2021 deadline to bring four new water towers online, including those on Holly and Rand Morgan roads.
The new reservoirs would allow the city to comply with TCEQ requirements for water storage. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the city maintains adequate pressure in its water distribution system.
The city no longer has a deadline with TCEQ to bring the towers online and increase the city’s water pressure, Zanoni said. However, the goal is to have city water pressure at 72 psi by 2029.
The city plans to increase the pressure slightly over time, by 2 pounds per square inch every six months, as aging water pipes are replaced, Zanoni said.
The city has an average water pressure of 52 pounds per square inch, but some areas have 30 psi, which is considered low water pressure.
Kathryn Cargo tracks business openings and developments while reporting on the impacts of city government decisions.Check out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.