Columbus Water Works Examining Other Tanks

By Lindsey Connell - bio | e-mail | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  The sound of crunching steel could be heard along JR Allen Parkway Friday, as crews lifted pieces of the failed Columbus Water Works tank from its bank.

The metal is still being tested to see if it played a role in the collapse.

"The engineers completed gathering data for their investigative reports yesterday so we'll hopefully have some of those reports coming next week. There were x-raying welds. They were checking wall-plate thickness, things of that nature," said Steve Davis, Engineer for Columbus Water Works.

Water Works officials say they're already gearing up to rebuild the massive river water retainer.

"We can regulate the flow into the plant better with that tank there rather than just having our pumps pumping at a constant rate that we have to respond to in treatment so it gives us a better process to have that tank in service," Davis added.

And not one but two tanks may fill the tank's spot overlooking JR Allen Parkway.

"We're currently looking at replacing the 6 million gallon tank with two 4 million gallon tanks,"

In the meantime, the company continues to examine its 12 other above-ground tanks in Columbus.

We're told during the recent inspections, their oldest tank off Veteran's Parkway near Hughston Hospital showed signs of water around it. Water Works officials say that could be from recent rains but they're playing it safe- the 750,000 gallon tank will be drained and inspected further from the inside.

Crews are taking a close look at the others as well.

"We've got some x-rays that we're looking at on some of those tanks too. We'll be surprised if we find anything. We were surprised that this one ever had a problem but that's what prompted us to go out and do an evaluation of them as well," Davis explained.

Water Works is expecting a final analysis of the tank's structure by the end of next week, hoping that will answer the big question of what happened.

As for commuters along JR Allen Parkway, traffic is still going to be down to one lane from 2nd Avenue to River Road until next Wednesday as crews continue to take away pieces of the tank and debris.