Work to upgrade the Flint Water Tower will begin Monday, May 8 with exterior repairs that will not impact water delivery operations.
Exterior work will last 1-2 weeks, followed by interior work starting around May 22 that will require the water tower to be taken offline and isolated from the rest of the water system for 4-6 weeks.
“Scheduled repairs and upgrades to the Flint Water Tower are part of our work to continuously improve our water infrastructure in the City of Flint,” Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “As we move from crisis to recovery, we are approaching every aspect of our water infrastructure with intention, ensuring that we can continue to enhance the quality and reliability of water in Flint.”
When exterior work on the water tower begins next week, residents can expect to see crews power washing, painting, and performing other maintenance. These activities will last between one and two weeks and will have no impact on water quality or delivery.
Around the third week of May, the water tower will be isolated from the rest of the water system and will be taken out of service for about 4-6 weeks. The City of Flint will notify residents of the exact timing before the water tower goes offline.
Maintenance inside the water tower will include cleaning and painting the elevated tank’s interior, installing a new mixer to improve water quality, and making upgrades to the tank hatches, overflow, and drain. The 4–6-week time period allows for draining, cleaning, repairing the tank, application of paint, curing of paint, refilling and testing the tank, and bacteriological testing.
Some minor operational changes will be implemented while the water tower is offline. Several pressure relief valves will be installed on fire hydrants around the city. If there are rapid changes in flows and pressures in the distribution system, one or more pressure relief valves will open to dump water onto the ground. This prevents pressure spikes from occurring and should help minimize water main breaks during the tank project.
The pumps at the Dort pumping station are equipped with variable frequency drives (VFDs), which are pump control devices that gradually increase and decrease the pumps’ output as necessary to keep a steady pressure in the distribution system. The use of VFDs will also help to minimize pressure spikes and main breaks.
The primary GLWA water delivering line, the secondary Genesee County Drain Commission (GCDC) water delivering line, the Cedar Street reservoir and pumping station, and the Dort reservoir and pumping station will all be in service during the water tower repair project.
Flint residents are encouraged to call 810-766-7202 to report water main breaks or any changes or problems with their water. For sewer issues, residents are encouraged to call 810-766-7079. These numbers are monitored around the clock. When calling after normal business hours, residents should leave a message. Calls will be returned as soon as possible.