Fairfield to consider hiring firm to design city’s newest water tower

Fairfield’s industrial business growth, which includes a multi-million dollar project at Koch Foods, is prompting the city to speed up the work on a sixth water tower.

City Council on Monday will entertain a $190,480 contract with CT Consultants for the final design and permitting of a new 1.25 million-gallon water tank on Port Union Road.

The sixth tower is included in the city’s tax incentive agreement with Koch Foods’ expansion project. The company’s general manager said in September they intend to add as many as 600 new jobs as part of its $220 million expansion. Part of the deal is the company must notify the city it would add a third production line ― the expansion will bring on two new production lines ― and Fairfield would have 18 months to build the water tower.

But the need for the tower goes beyond Koch’s project that could add as many as 600 new jobs.

Public Utilities Director Adam Sackenheim said Fairfield intended to build a sixth water tower in 2025, and secured land for that tower back in mid-2021. Because of the Koch Foods project, other industrial growth, and increased water demand on the eastern side of Fairfield, he expects the new tower to be constructed next year.

“It’s looking likely to me we would construct that tower in 2023, and that’s based on what I’m hearing,” Sackenheim said.

Sackenheim said getting the engineering and permitting done now allows Fairfield to “stay ahead of the game” and “we think it’s in our best interest.”

The new tower has also prompted the city to seek a capacity re-rating of how much water it can pump through the water treatment plant. Now, a maximum of 9.1 million gallons can be pumped through the plan every day, and Sackenheim is seeking to increase that rating up to between 10.5 million to 11 million gallons. The plant has gotten close, at times, to the water treatment plant’s capacity.

“We’ve already started working with the state, the Ohio EPA on looking at looking where we can drill a new (raw water) well, and that will be the first piece in that re-rating processes to get us some more capacity in the plant,” Sackenheim said.

If approved on Monday, the engineering, permitting, and other necessary approvals could be completed by mid-summer, Sackenheim said.

“This is just part of the process,” he said. “We’ve got the land. This will be the technical design, and the next step will be bidding it out and awarding a contract.”

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