Fairfield’s sixth water tower construction project to pause for winter

Fairfield’s sixth water tower construction project will be on hold for the winter after concrete work finishes ahead of winter.

The contractor, Landmark Structures, has until November 2023 to finish the water tower construction, but Public Utilities Director Adam Sackenheim believes “we’ll have water in that tower by summer, mid-summer.”

This will be the first new water tower built in the city in 30 years. In conjunction with this project, Sackenheim said the city is also in the process of drilling Fairfield’s first new raw water well in three decades.

“We’re continuing to expand the capacity and the abilities of our system to grow with the demand,” he said.

The added water capacity is due to the continued growth and redevelopment in the Port Union/Seward Road industrial corridor. The added capacity will provide better pressure and flow for the expanding area.

“In large part, it’s also going to provide the additional water demands from the Koch Foods expansion,” Sackenheim said.

Koch Foods announced in 2021 a $220 million expansion of its chicken processing plant on Port Union Road. The project called for the construction of a 402,000-plus-square-foot building and adding hundreds of new jobs. Koch General Manager Brian Reisen previously told the Journal-News they anticipate bringing the new facility online by the end of February.

The project will add three new lines, and Reisen said they’ll “still have room for two more lines” which he anticipates adding within the next few years.

Fairfield secured land for the new water tower in mid-2021 on Port Union Road, which is across from Koch Foods and near other industrial growth.

The $5.1 million project started in August with foundation work. The base of the tower is concrete and Sackenheim said there would be one more concrete pour before winter. Landmark Structures will be in a holding pattern until spring when they resume the project with steelwork.

Credit: City of Fairfield/Provided

Credit: City of Fairfield/Provided

Sackenheim said Fairfield would need to request from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency an increase in the city’s water production capacity once the new raw well is drilled. The city’s water plant is rated to produce 9.1 million gallons of water a day, but on maximum capacity days, the city can use upwards of 8.4 million to 8.5 million gallons.

“If we can get rated for another 20%, another 1.5 million gallons a day, that will put us in a good spot for serving the customers,” Sackenheim said.

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