"I have to drive 20 miles to campus when I could live right by it, but I think this part of town is a lot nicer," says neighbor, Ashleigh Wilkinson. But news of a new 56 foot water tank in her front yard isn't as nice. "Not so excited about that, it's really going to take away from the physical exposure. We have a great playa lake, there's Kings Park," she says.
City Engineer, Ches Carthel says the reservoir has to be removed. "We have problems with the structure, and problems with the roof," says Carthel. The city has tried making repairs, but the rain causes problems, so they have tried placing rubber mats to keep the water from seeping into the cracks but that has not helped. "You can see from the dirt, obviously that's a low spot when it rains water runs to that area. If this low spot happens to be over a joint in the concrete it can cause a leakage problem of contamination into the reservoir," says Carthel.
Aside from contamination, the structure has too much water pressure and the Texas Commission On Environmental Quality says it is a dangerous mix. The Commission now requires roofs to have a slope, Lubbock's is flat. "When it was designed and built the groundwater table was much lower, and no one anticipated the groundwater would rise. By the water pushing on the bottom of the reservoir it causes it to come up like this and that cause cracks in the floor," Carthel says.
He also says the best solution is to demolish the reservoir, and build two above ground water tanks in it's place. The tanks could be anywhere from 16 to 56 feet high. Obviously, neighbors want it to be as indiscrete as possible. The city says there was no way to anticipate these problems and plans for building should start sometime in the next few months.
Tuesday evening, residents in the area expressed their concerns about what it will look like. So a task force may be formed to come up with an agreeable design.