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Crews update Scott’s water supply with new tower

Water Tower; 375 CES; American Water

Currently the base uses two towers for its water supply, and a new one is being constructed, with expectation of completion to be mid-2021, which will replace these two. These are located near the Hangar 1 next to the flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Erwin)

Water Tower; 375 CES; American Water

The current and new water tower locations show on the horizon Sept. 29, 2020, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The new water tower project is expected to be completed in mid-2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Erwin)

Water Tower; 375 CES; American Water

Pieces of the water tower project lay at a construction site Sept. 29, 2020, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The new water tower is replacing the two aging towers and will be able to hold the 500k gallon capacity that the current two combined hold. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Erwin)

Water Tower; 375 CES; American Water

A piece of the side of a water tower lays which is part of a new $2 million tower that American Water is financing and building. It replaces the two current towers which were built in 1939 and 1940. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Erwin)

Water Tower; 375 CES; American Water

The base structure of a new water tower which is being built to replace two aging towers. American Water is building the new tower, which should be complete by mid-2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Erwin)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill – A visible sight around Scott Air Force Base are the two large towers near the flightline that supply water to the installation.

Soon, there’ll be another larger one beside the Airman’s Attic built through a partnership with the 375th Civil Engineer Squadron and American Water.

This new tower, projected to be finished by mid-2021, will replace the current towers at a cost of approximately $2 million and will have a 500,000 gallon capacity.

“The two water towers we’re replacing have met life expectancy,” said Aaron Williams, American Water general manager. “Life cycle cost analysis was conducted which helped us make the determination to build one tank with the same capacity [as the two existing tanks].”

The current towers have been in place since 1939 and 1940 respectively. While the water supply is safe for base residents, American Water officials said they’re modernizing the system to guarantee the health of the base’s water supply for decades to come.

In September 2007, American Water was awarded a 50 year contract, and they are responsible for the Operations and Maintenance of the water distribution system on Scott AFB, according to John Young, 375th CES contractor. 

Young added that in addition to the O&M, they also perform Renewals and Replacements of the water system. R&R are investments in the water system to renew or replace system components, such as water towers, that fail or reach the end of their service life. Because American Water assumes the cost of the projects, these R&R projects don’t compete for funding against other projects executed by the Wing.