Suburban Water Systems’ Plant 109 is a critical water pumping and storage facility that meets the drinking, domestic, irrigation, and firefighting needs of customers in the City of West Covina.
Plant 109 has two steel water tanks that were constructed in 1951. The tanks have a paint and a coating system that prevents the reservoir’s steel from rusting and causing catastrophic structural failure. The coating also maintains the high quality of water stored in the tank.
Suburban inspects the inside and outside of its tanks every three years. A qualified and well-disinfected coating inspector SCUBA dives inside the tank while it is full of water and in operation to inspect the structural steel. These inspections provide a report on the condition of the coating and structural elements and indicate when it is time to repair or replace them.
The diver identified that the coating system for Reservoir 2 (300,000-gallon tank) had reached the end of its useful life and needed replacement. The report also recommended upgrades to the ventilation system and reinforcing the center column that bears the roof’s weight.
Suburban started the tank rehabilitation work at the end of 2022 during the cooler months when customer demand is lowest; the work will be completed in February 2023 and greatly extend the tank’s life. The tank is being cleaned, disinfected, and returned to service to ensure Suburban’s customers have access to a reliable supply of safe, high-quality water.
Sand blasting machine removing and capturing the old coating outside of Reservoir 2 in preparation for new paint. Also, note the dark grey welded rectangular steel plates around the top of the tank where replacement roof rafters were installed.
Inside the reservoir looking up the center column and roof opening before the vent hood is installed.
Inside of the reservoir showing the reservoir overflow pipe. The overflow pipe allows the water to drain out should there be an emergency situation where the water level exceeds its normal operating levels.