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Watertown will spend up to $750,000 to fix reservoir leak

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City officials finally know exactly what has been causing a leak in one of the reservoirs in Thompson Park that loses 400,000 gallons of water a day.

And it could cost as much $750,000 to fix.

On Monday night, the City Council will be asked to approve $750,000 in bonding to pay for repairs to a pipe that leads into the 5-million gallon water tank at the park.

According to a memo, City Manager Eric Wagenaar expects the cost will be in the range of $500,000 to $750,000 to fix.

City officials have known about the leak for decades.

City Councilman Benjamin J. Shoen brought the leak up when he was a candidate last fall.

“I’m just happy this is finally going to fix it,” he said Saturday.

About a month ago, the 5-million gallon reservoir — the larger of the two water tanks — was drained so the piping going into it could be inspected to see if that’s the source of the leak.

The leak was found in that pipe going through the reservoir wall and encased in 30 feet of concrete, Shoen said.

Bids will go out soon to find out how much exactly it will cost to fix, Shoen said. But he added that the repairs will eventually pay for themselves because the treatable water will no longer be lost from the leak.

In the past several months, city water department employees and consultant DN Tanks, a Massachusetts company that specializes in reservoirs and tanks, have worked on the issue.

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Thompson Park reservoir drained again to find leak

in Local News 359 views

City officials are hoping that they will soon find out what’s causing a leak that loses about 400,000 gallons of water a day from a reservoir in Thompson Park.

Last week, the 5-million gallon reservoir — the larger of the two water tanks — was drained so that the piping going into it can be inspected to see if it’s the source of the leak.

Two main lines lead into the larger reservoir.

Councilman Benjamin P. Shoen brought up the leak during Monday’s Council meeting, mentioning that he noticed that a stream of water that normally flows down to Thompson Boulevard was conspicuously absent when he drove by the area on Monday and over the weekend.

City water department employees and consultant DN Tanks, a Massachusetts company that specializes in reservoirs and tanks, were working on the issue, City Manager Eric F. Wagenaar said.

They were “inspecting it, cleaning it and making any needed repairs,” he said, adding that a camera will be installed in the piping to see what can be found.

If the water isn’t meandering down to Thompson Boulevard and the 5-million gallon tank has been drained, then the cause “can be narrowed down,” Shoen said.

The leak is an issue that spans decades, according to city officials who have noticed the stream flowing out of the park for many years.

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