Infrastructure Local News Water 

San Lorenzo Valley Water District Tank Replacement

The San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD) announced on June 2, 2024 that it will be replacing 12 water storage tanks in several locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Among them, the Redwood Park Tank, Echo Tanks, Highland Tank, Felton Heights Tank, and South Tanks. The work replaces old leaky redwood construction and plastic tanks damaged by the CZU fire in 2020. The 6 new 120,000 gallon bolted-steel tanks increase system reliability and comply with requirements for 100,000-gallon fire suppression demand.

The project is funded by a $4.5 million Department of Water Resources 2022 Urban Community Drought Relief grant, plus a $1.5 million match by SLVWD. SLVWD interim General Manager Brian Frus said in a statement, “This is a critically important project for the District and we’re excited to be moving forward. Older tanks made from wood are vulnerable to leaks and other major problems, while some plastic tanks were jeopardized in the CZU fire. Replacing these tanks is part of our ongoing work to transform our aging infrastructure, also including water mains, throughout the District.”

The tank upgrades will happen over the next two years as part of SLVWD’s Capital Improvement Projects.

Photos show the Blue Ridge freshwater storage tank, which was the first in the District’s replacement effort meeting new standards since the CZU fire. The Blue Ridge tank north of Boulder Creek was a leaking 40,000 gallon redwood tank. The replacement tank is bolted steel and holds 120,000 gallons of water. It stands more than 32 feet tall and is 30 feet in diameter. The tank was assembled in four months — from June, 2023 to October, 2023. The tank is built on a foundation of poured concrete secured with a network of tie-downs that meet geotechnical specifications. For seismic reasons, it is not filled to the top to allow for water movement within the tank in an earthquake. Photos by Julie Horner.


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