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Posted on: February 22, 2023

Watch: Construction complete on Tunnel Hill tanks

Aerial image of two tanks in Helix Water District service area

This month, we completed an extensive rehabilitation of our Tunnel Hill tanks, which are located above Interstate 8 near the Los Coaches exit. These tanks store and provide water to thousands of customers in Lakeside and El Cajon.

The first phase of the project was stripping the exterior of the smaller and newer, reinforced concrete tank. The new, natural concrete finish does not require paint and will reduce long-term maintenance costs. 

The larger steel tank received new paint and a corrosion-resistant aluminum roof. We also added 5 feet of height to improve the tank’s performance and safety in an earthquake.

Both tanks received new interior coatings to prevent corrosion, and were replumbed with flexible fittings to prevent breaks and keep the tanks connected during an earthquake.

Tanks are the most visible parts of water infrastructure and play a vital role in supplying water for our daily needs and emergencies. Helix operates and maintains 25 tanks across its 50 square-mile service area. Proactive rehabilitations like this are less expensive than the construction of a new tank,  and the improvements will sustain the tanks for another 50-75 years.

Watch our new video showing some construction processes and how we put water rates to work. 

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