Published in Las Cruces Bulletin 12.2.22
By Cassie McClure
After approximately 46 years since its last rehabilitation, the Missouri Water Tank at Gus Vlachakis Park will get a complete restoration. Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) maintains the 66-year-old water tank, which is nestled behind Fire Station 4 at 2802 E. Missouri Ave. It sits alongside the park’s beautiful shade trees and a playground, but the rehabilitation does necessitate the park's closure during the colder months, from the end of November 2022 to the end of March 2023.
“It’s a small park, and there’s a lot of equipment involved in ensuring that this crucial piece of water infrastructure remains operational for more years to come,” said LCU Associate Engineer Fernando Ortiz. The Missouri Water Tank serves the Telshor and South Intermediate water pressure zones and holds 2 million gallons of water.
“The reason we’re closing the park is to ensure the safety of our residents because of the amount of equipment and materials it takes to rehabilitate a water storage tank,” he said. “We’re completing this during the time of the year when there is less water demand.”
At the intersection of Missouri Avenue and south Telshor Boulevard, Gus Vlachakis Park will become a staging ground for rehabilitation operation. The tank will be cleaned out of sediment buildup, its interior sandblasted, floor replacement, roof replacement, vent upgraded, new manways installation and replacement, inlet and outlet replacements, repainting, and concrete ring repair. It will also get new ladders, vandal deterrents, and roof safety railings.
Approved by the LCU Board of Commissioners in October 2022, Viking Painting, LLC, will complete the $2.5 million project.
“It’s been cared for throughout the years through regular inspections on its interior and exterior, but due to its age, it doesn’t meet current standards,” said Ortiz. “This is a routine upgrade that all tanks go through as they get older, and new regulations allow for the safety of workers and better operation of the tank for residents.”
LCU staff held a public meeting at the Utilities Building at 680 N. Motel Blvd on Thursday, November 17. Attendees’ questions focused on water disruptions and loss of water pressure.
“The residents in the area should not see any water disruption or loss of water pressure,” said Ortiz. “The water system has other means to reroute water and ensure the water pressure is the same even if a tank needs to be taken offline.”
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities
For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: The Missouri Water Tank at Gus Vlachakis Park is 66 years old and getting rehabilitated. The park will be closed from the end of November until March 2023.