Million-gallon water tank nears completion

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 11            March 17, 2005

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A huge water storage tank under construction at the Belize Water Limited (BWL) facility south of San Pedro is nearing completion. The tank should be completed at the end of April and online by July. When finished, the storage unit will hold more than a million gallons of fresh water.

    The storage unit is critical as San Pedro Town continues to grow, said Wade Van Doren, BWL Manager. “Because San Pedro continues to move forward with growth and expansion, our company is committed to the same goal to meet these needs,” said Van Doren. He explained that BWL has a 23-year contract to provide water to Belize Water Services. In addition to the storage unit, part of their agreement is to have the ability to produce a million gallons of fresh water a day. They are to reach this capacity within 10 years. Van Doren said that his plant’s current maximum capacity is about 400 thousand gallons a day. The new storage tank will allow time to upgrade the desalinization facility to meet the million gallons per day goal.

    San Pedro is currently consuming about 360 thousand gallons of water a day. Van Doren said this is peak season for water consumption, and added that the lack of rain has increased demand. He said demand is greater than it was at this time last year.

    The water tank costs $1.5 million (BZ) and is about sixty percent complete. When finished, it will stand forty feet high, about twice as tall as it is now. It is sixty feet in diameter. The structure is made of bolted steel that has been fused with glass. “This makes it almost impervious to corrosion,” said Van Doren. A major component for the tank construction was the cement slab that provides the foundation. The entire 200 yards of cement had to be poured at one time since any cracks could lead to leakage. The entire structure sits on 96 pylons to help support the 850 million pounds when filled.

    Medina Construction was the contractor for the pouring the cement slab foundation and are the sub-contractors for the building of the structure.
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