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The water tower at Fredom Park in Lowell.

The water tower at Freedom Park in Lowell.

LOWELL — The town will soon begin gradually filling its new, 1-million gallon water tower tank to bring it online.

But when it does, those living in the 40 homes in Heritage Falls subdivision across from the tower's Freedom Park location will notice a drop in water pressure. The Town Council plans to send letters and possibly meet with those residents.

Engineer Craig Hendrix of SEH of Indiana told the council Heritage Falls residents have "artificially pressurized" water from lift station pumps and will go from their current 55 pounds of water pressure to 35 during the filling process. He said the tower will be filled to about half, then added to weekly until filled to the top.

The town's multimillion dollar water improvement project began three years ago and is resulting in a better product and more efficient operation, Hendrix said.

"Maybe your water problem isn't going to be a water problem anymore," he said.

Councilman Will Farrellbegg, D-3rd, noted the town's deep well delivering the most water has lots of iron, sulfur and lime, but that product is expected to benefit from changes in the chemical process that resulted from a recent pilot study.

Hendrix said high velocity pumps will be installed in January, delivering water faster and energy cost savings. By spring, the water plant adjacent to the municipal wellfield should be operating much better, he said.

In other business:

  • The council tabled its decision on a planned array of solar panels at the wastewater treatment plant on Belshaw Road while it waits for "finding of facts" from the Lowell Police Commission.
  • The council is looking at ordinances regarding water meters and shutoff valves. Public Works Director Kevin Gray said difficulties to access shutoff valves are creating a dangerous situation for town crews. He said crews must sometimes go into crawl spaces at their own risk. In other cases, residents have installed sidewalks or otherwise covered access to shutoffs with concrete. A zoning amendment requiring flat work be permitted, even with no fee, would help with concrete-covered shutoffs, he said.


Marc Chase is a veteran investigative reporter, columnist and editor of more than two decades. He currently leads The Times news staff as local news editor. He can be reached at 219-933-3327.