Meadville Tribune

Local News

December 13, 2013

Move could save big on Highland Reservoir replacement

MEADVILLE — Meadville Area Water Authority is expected to discuss moving forward with proposal that could save more than 40 percent of the $8.6 million cost of replacing the 4.5-million gallon Highland Reservoir with two 2.5-million gallon tanks during its monthly meeting Monday night.

Ordinarily gathering on the fourth Monday of each month, MAWA moved its December meeting to the third Monday because of the upcoming holiday. Monday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at MAWA’s offices on Rogers Ferry Road in Vernon Township.

The tanks as currently proposed would extend above ground by approximately 8 feet; according to Project Manager Don Nold, the proposal to be presented by MAWA’s consulting engineer involves raising the tanks an additional 15 feet above ground level, a move that would result in a substantial savings on the cost of site work.

According to Nold, the first step in exploring the possibility of saving an estimated $3.58 million on the project would be to update a hydraulic model of the project to determine the impact of the change on the water system.

Not all the water in the MAWA system, which provides water to customers in the City of Meadville and Vernon, Woodcock and West Mead townships as well as Vernon Township Water Authority, flows directly to its final destination from the reservoir.

However, every drop makes a stop at the reservoir before it goes anywhere else. From MAWA’s Vernon Township wells, which pump on a schedule designed to keep the reservoir at an optimal level to maintain consistent pressure throughout the system, water is distributed directly to customers or to MAWA’s elevated tanks at Hillcrest and on Limber Road for distribution.

After more than a century, the reservoir has outlived its useful life.

At this point, various permits required for the project are being obtained; bidding is expected to begin in March.

Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at


What to watch for

Meadville Area Water Authority meets Monday at 5:30 p.m. at its offices on Rogers Ferry Road in Vernon Township. The authority is expected to discuss the replacement of the 4.5-million gallon Highland Reservoir with two 2.5-million gallon tanks.


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