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New water tower in place, will be operational this summer –

by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Olney’s new elevated water tank was recently hoisted onto its tower, but it will be several months before the facility becomes operational.
Work continues on the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s (WSSC) new water storage facility, designed to improve local water quality and system pressure reliability, as well as increase the usable volume of water stored in the tank.
The existing tank, also known as a “standpipe,” was due for replacement.
The tower, at 17710 Buehler Road between Sandy Spring Bank and St. Peter’s Catholic Church, was built in 1963.
The new elevated tank, which was constructed adjacent to the existing standpipe on the same property, will provide water for drinking and fire protection.
“The tank is going from the current 2.5 million gallons to a new water storage tank with 1.5 million gallons; however, the tank is changing from the current standpipe to a more storage-efficient elevated tank,” WSSC spokesman Luis Maya said.
He said the usable volume in the existing standpipe is 0.76 million gallons compared to the 1.5 million gallons for the new elevated tank, “effectively doubling the capacity.”
Leaders of the Greater Olney Civic Association (GOCA) and the Olney Chamber of Commerce appealed to WSSC to have “Olney” painted on the new standpipe.
WSSC agreed and the intent was to complete the painting before the tank was raised. However, because the weather turned cold rather abruptly, the painting will instead take place in the spring.
The tank is painted a light sky blue. The lettering will be painted in dark blue, using the Georgia Bold font.
“Olney” will be painted on two sides of the tank that provide the best visibility. One will face northbound Georgia Avenue and the other will be visible from the Fair Hill Shopping Center at Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108) and Spartan Road.
There is no cost to the community for painting the letters on the standpipe.
Maya said the new tank will not become operational until the summer.
In addition to the construction of the new tank, the project includes installation of new piping and valve vaults, a new fence surrounding the perimeter of the property and demolition of the existing standpipe when the new elevated tank is in service.

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