A Tank for All Seasons: Extreme Climate Proves Good Challenge for 35-Year-Old Storage Tank at WV Resort

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Mid Atlantic Storage Systems' Aquastore tank recently celebrated 35 years in service without significant maintenance.
Mid Atlantic Storage Systems' Aquastore tank recently celebrated 35 years in service without significant maintenance.

Visitors who come to Pocahontas County in West Virginia each winter hope for one thing: snow - and lots of it. The world-famous Snowshoe Mountain Resort is known for skiing, and thousands of visitors flock there every year to enjoy its picturesque views and winter attractions.

What visitors see when they arrive are beautiful West Virginia mountains featuring a ski resort, trails, forest and opportunities to enjoy the snow. However, what they don't see is probably one of the most vital - and interesting - features of Snowshoe Mountain.

The Cheat Mountain Water Company, a private utility, is responsible for care of the potable water needs of Snowshoe Mountain and the surrounding area, and Pocahontas County Public Service District provides for some of the area's wastewater needs. It's difficult for winter visitors to imagine the summer days that reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit here, but the extreme climate changes from cold to heat at Snowshoe Mountain make the care of water and wastewater infrastructure a challenge.

The challenging climate also makes it surprising to realize that the water plant's oldest potable water tank, an Aquastore tank provided by Mid Atlantic Storage Systems capable of storage for 500,000 gallons, recently celebrated 35 years in service without significant maintenance.

During these past 35 years, the increasing number of visitors to Snowshoe Mountain has required the Water Company to expand operations. In 2003, Snowshoe Mountain vertically expanded its existing 2-million-gallon equalization (EQ) tank, originally built in 1998, to accommodate an additional 1.23 million gallons. In 2004, a new 500,000-gallon potable water tank was installed next to the original.

It's interesting to note that in 2009, when the water company moved overflows and installed replacement sheets, it was discovered upon inspection that the interior of the Aquastore tank was in near perfect condition after three decades.

"Aquastore tanks feature a unique glass-fused-to-steel interior and exterior coating, which is the most durable coating available," said Jim Wary, regional sales manager for Mid Atlantic Storage Systems. "The glass withstands the extreme cold in the winter as well as the extreme heat of summer. And these tanks never need to be repainted. Given the good maintenance performed regularly by the water company, it wasn't surprising to find this tank in excellent condition and able to continue performing well for what we hope will be many years to come."

Routine maintenance of the tank has included re-edging the coated sheet edges and adding exterior bolt caps. A total of less than $10,000 has been spent in maintenance over 35 years.

Mid Atlantic Storage Systems has provided all but one of the storage tanks for Snowshoe Mountain. In addition to the aforementioned tanks - a wastewater tank at Hawthorn Valley capable of storing 46,000 gallons and a potable water tank at Hawthorne Valley with a capacity of 25,000 gallons - have been erected. The performance of these tanks, as well as the excellent service provided by Mid Atlantic Storage Systems, would make it easy to choose Aquastore products in the future.

Products like Aquastore storage tanks, in partnership with quality operators such as the Cheat Mountain Water Company and Pocahontas County PSD, allow public water and wastewater services to operate smoothly behind the scenes and allow thousands of residents and visitors to enjoy the many attractions at Snowshoe Mountain every year.

Benefits of Glass-Fused-to-Steel

  • Lowest maintenance requirements over tank life
  • Greater lifetime value versus welded or concrete tanks
  • Faster construction - Easy assembly without cranes or special equipment
  • Expandable to accommodate future requirements
  • Available in diameters from 11 feet (3.3 m) to 204 feet (62.2 m) and capacity from 20,000 gallons (75 m3) to over 6 million gallons (22,700 m3)
  • Specific tank designs, options and accessories to meet customer needs

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