Landmark VA Water Tower To Be Replaced

PLAINS TOWNSHIP — A landmark for drivers in the Wyoming Valley is about to be replaced.

With hundreds of veterans using thousands of gallons of water every day, officials at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre said a new water tower is needed to replace the original one built in 1952.

“It’s going to have all state of the art levels and alarm systems for low levels or temperature monitoring. It also has mixing systems inside to keep the water fresh and to keep it from freezing,” said project manager Bob Calarco.

Contractors said the new water tower will look like a big golf ball on top of a tee. It will be able to hold 400,000 gallons of water.

The tower is already built and the water tank is expected to start taking shape next week.

“Some of the sections are put together kind of like flower petals and each one will get raised up individually, set on the base, and welded in place,” Calarco said.

The Veterans Affairs water tower is considered a landmark to many people in the Wyoming Valley, right near the Cross Valley Expressway and Interstate 81, but when this project is done, it will look different.

“People look for the star on Christmas. They look up and they see the water tower. It will have the VA symbol on it. It’ll still be the landmark,” said Chief Engineer Chris English.

English said the $2.75 million water tower can hold a four-day supply if there’s ever a big water main break or natural disaster.

The new water tower should be finished by December, and VA officials said the old one will be dismantled and recycled.

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