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Repairs to water tower at city park are nearly complete, Lockport official says

LOCKPORT – Repairs to the Outwater Park water tower are nearly complete, a city Water Department official told the Common Council last week.

Dennis McNamara, chief operator of the water-treatment plant, said the tower, technically called a standpipe, is out of service because of electrical problems. A pump installed inside in 2003 didn’t work properly, and neither did an actuator unit that allows remote control of the pump from the main plant on Summit Street.

McNamara said that fuses kept blowing at the tower and that New York State Electric & Gas Corp. “finally figured it out.”

The water tower is 103 feet high and 71 feet in diameter and can hold about 3.3 million gallons. McNamara said that’s enough the keep the city going in an emergency for 12 to 15 hours, based on typical usage.

“It was ignored for a long time in previous administrations,” he told the aldermen.

The tower can’t be returned to service until the state Health Department tests and approves the water quality. The city’s other storage tank is 6 million gallons at the Summit Street plant, McNamara said.

Meanwhile, the Council approved an environmental statement, helping clear the way for receiving a $1.5 million state grant for sewer improvements on High Street.

City Engineer Rolando Moreno said work probably won’t begin until 2017 on the project to separate sanitary sewage and storm sewage in separate pipes; about 5,000 feet of sewer pipe would have to be replaced on High Street from State Road to Locust Street.

When the combined sewers are separated, only the sanitary sewage will go to the city sewage-treatment plant. The rain and snowmelt will to diverted into the Erie Canal, Moreno said, although the city will install a unit to catch solids before they enter the canal.