Tannery Knobs water tank increases capacity

Robert Houk • Nov 27, 2018 at 6:39 PM

Johnson City leaders have officially dedicated a new 5-million-gallon water tank on Tannery Knobs that will substantially increase the city’s water capacity in times of fire, power outrage and weather-related emergencies.

“We are proud of our water system,” Mayor David Tomita said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Tuesday morning for the pre-stressed concrete reservoir, which replaces a 3-million-gallon tank that was constructed in the late 1930s. “We are very blessed to have a system that is dependable.”

City Water/Sewer Director Tom Witherspoon said the new $2.56 million water tank represents a “significant investment” for the city on a “historic site.” The previous water tank was constructed on what was then called Pine Knob and served the city more than 78 years before it was demolished in late 2017 to make room for the new reservoir.

The tank is located on Dennis Drive near the entrance to the soon-to-be-opened Tannery Knobs Bike Park.

Witherspoon said construction of the new tank began in January and wrapped up in September. He said the Tannery Knobs reservoir is now the largest of the city’s 16 water tanks.

“The construction was quick and well organized,” City Manager Pete Peterson said of the project.

A third and final phase of the water tank project is currently underway. It calls for 2,200 feet of new water transmission line along East Market Street and Chamber Drive. The total project, costing $4 million, is expected to be completed in the spring.

Bobby Jobe, a former director of the city’s Water/Sewer Department, said the Tannery Knobs project is an example of the city keeping up with growth and technology.

“This is a move to maintain good service,” Jobe said. “You have to plan for emergencies, and for when things don’t work right. That’s not always easy.”