|Water Storage Upgrades Project|
The City of Oakdale owns, maintains, and operates a potable water distribution system to serve the City's residents and businesses. Last year this system delivered approximately 1.6 billion gallons of water to customers throughout town. A major component of this system is storage. Currently the City's system hosts one 540,000 gallon tank. Soon, the City will be embarking on the construction of a replacement tank as well as one more additional tank. These new tanks will each hold up to 600,000 gallons thereby increasing the total system storage by 140%. These new tanks will be built from pre-stressed concrete which could last 100 years! This will represent a significant achievement for the City of Oakdale and will help ensure the long-term viability of our drinking water system.
History of Water Storage in Oakdale
On June 3, 1911, the voters of Oakdale headed to the polls and approved the issuance of a $50,000 bond to fund the acquisition, construction, and completion of a water system. Later that year, on October 26, 1911, the City Council awarded a contract for the construction of a water reservoir on a bluff overlooking the Stanislaus River to the partnership of J.E. Griffiths and D.J. McMillan. At that time, the tank site was three-fourths of a mile northeast of the City limits and the tank's construction was to cost $5,692.90. This tank was built from reinfroced concrete and featured a wooden roof. According to a newspaper article from the early 1960s, this tank was plagued by problems for most of its life. These problems included frequent leaking, the roof blowing off, and infiltration through holes in the roof by bats.
On April 10, 1962, the residents of Oakdale took to the polls to vote on a bond-issuance measure which included $40,000 to help fund the construction of a new steel water tank to replace the aging concrete one. By a vote of 990 to 485 this bond issue passed clearing the way to construct the new tank. Later that year the City Council solicited bids for the construction of this tank and accepted a $23,500 contract with the General American Transportation Corporation of San Francisco at their November 5, 1962, meeting. By February 18, 1963, the construction of the steel water tank was completed. Today, you can still see this tank standing on the same site overlooking the Stanislaus River near what is today Valley View Park.
The New Tanks
Both of these tanks will be removed to make way for a new, 600,000-gallon capacity pre-stressed concrete reservoir. This tank will be approximately the same height as the existing steel tank and stand in almost exactly the same location. Another new tank, identical to the new Valley View tank, will be built on an empty lot on the southern end of the City thereby bringing the total storage capacity to 1.2 million gallons with an expected service life of 100 years.
Keep checking back for more information on the upcoming project.
The old concrete tank being constructed. Circa 1911-1912.
The completed concrete tank.
The completed concrete tank. And a shooting range.
The steel tank being constructed. Circa 1962-1963.
Both tanks. Circa 1963. Source: Oakdale Leader.
Special thanks goes to Donald Kirkham for his help in gathering these photos. All photos unattributed, unless otherwise noted.