IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A well-known colorful structure that has been part of the Idaho Falls skyline for more than 80 years will be removed in the near future.
The iconic water tower is scheduled to be removed in 2024, once the new water tower is completed in 2023. The city says that many community members have had questions about why the project is necessary.
“There are eight concrete foundations for each leg of the water tower that can be seen exposed foundations, you can see significant cracking for me in those foundations. It's not to say that they're unsafe necessarily, but they need to be addressed and replaced. The elevated tower holds 500,000 gallons of water, it was good for its time, but as the city has continued to grow the city has additional needs for more water and the water storage. We plan on doubling the size of the existing tower,” said water superintendent, David Richards.
Renovating the existing water tower to have it remain in the city as a landmark isn't an affordable option.
“It will still cost in the range of $2 to $3 million, maybe two and a half million dollars to just make it more safe and decent to look at, but it wouldn't serve its intended purpose at that point. Therefore doesn't make sense to sink that kind of money into an existing tower if it doesn't serve its intended purpose,” Richards said.
Many also wonder why the city can't build the new water tower where the existing one stands.
“The existing tower needs to remain intact because it's supplies pressure to the water system. We can't take it down until the new tower is built. When we fill the new tower, it will then supply the pressure to the system and we can drain the old one, and then remove it. That's why we can't build a new tower on the same site field what else,” Richards said.
The City created a frequently asked questions page that includes more information, as well as three possible locations for the new water tower.