Water tower demolished

Shawn Hardy
A crane was brought to lower pieces of the Greencastle water tank to the ground.

A water tower that was part of the Greencastle skyscape since 1960, but unused since 2007, came down Monday in 4,000- to 8,000-pound chunks.

Workers from Iseler Demolition based in Michigan cut the tank apart 100 feet above U.S. 11 and South Washington Street and lowered the pieces with a crane.

The top of the water tank was cut off and on the ground by 9 a.m.

“It looks like a space ship,” said EMT Nicole Cortez, who was sitting on a bench with a number of other members of the Rescue Hose Co. watching the action next to the fire station.

The work is a small part of a $600,000 Greencastle Area, Franklin County, Water Authority project that involves painting a tank at the water treatment plant.

Demolition of the 250,000-gallon tank and tower is priced at $36,000 and Doug Iseler said the company would be finished in one day, with a total of eight workers, including two crane operators. The company demolishes elevated steel structures, including a lot of water tanks, anywhere in the continental United States.

The water tower was erected in 1960 mainly for fire protection for Corning (now World Kitchen) as well as a town water supply, according to Dave Nichols, Greencastle’s public works manager.

It was taken out of service 10 years ago because it was not tall enough to work with the rest of the distribution system, according to Eden Ratliff, borough manager. The larger tower nearby could drain down and refill before the smaller tank would kick in.

The general contract for repainting of the tank at the water treatment plant inside and out went to I.K. Stoltzfus Service Corp. of Manheim. Dan Goldhahn, project engineer, was on site Monday taking pictures of the demolition via drone.

“We don’t do this very often so it is very interesting to see,” he said of the demolition. “We document to see what we’ve done and to see what we can do in the future. You can never have too many pictures.”

The Stoltzfus component of the project is expected to begin the second week in August and continue through November and includes the installation of a temporary tank.

The existing tank was installed in 1994 and is at its lifespan where paint is concerned, Goldhahn said.

The inside of the 280,000-gallon tank will be blasted with steel grit and three coats of paint applied. The refurbishing also includes updates to OSHA standards, such as handrails for safety when working on the tank, Goldhahn explained.