Ward 8 residents will soon be able to enjoy a new 170-foot water tank in their area. (Courtesy of DC Water)

Seven decades in the making, southeast D.C. residents will soon be able to experience better water conditions, thanks to new water tower in Ward 8.

Erected last week by DC Water, the 170-foot tower is an investment expected to yield positive results.

“All of the hydrants in this part of the city, hundreds and thousands of them will have improved water pressure in case of an emergency,” Vince Morris, DC Water spokesperson, said in a statement. “I like to tell people, if you had a choice, would you rather buy a bottle of water that’s been sitting in a plastic bottle maybe for six months on a dusty, dry shelf somewhere, maybe transported on the back of an 18-wheeler somewhere, wrapped in plastic? Or would you rather drink fresh D.C. tap water that was in the Potomac River maybe a day ago, was carefully filtered and treated and now is coming through a faucet into a glass? Your choice.”

The new water tank will mark the first of its kind since 1945. It is expected to immensely improve water pressure in the area, which has been historically low for years, and help improve daily living conditions including taking hot showers, cooking and simply drinking a glass of water.

“This is a historical piece,” said DC Water community outreach specialist Tijuana Haynes. “To actually see one go up is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Located near the St. Elizabeths Hospital’s campus, atop a cement pedestal, DC Water officials said the site was chosen for its altitude, one of the highest points in the city.

“The spot we picked is tucked away in a quiet stand of trees so it’s not in anyone’s front or backyard,” Morris said. “We’re adjacent to the St. Elizabeths property, surrounded on all four sides by trees and forest.

“Gravity will always push water to the lowest point, and water will always seek the lowest point,” he said. “When you build a tower on a hill, as we have, and put it on a pedestal, that helps.”

In addition to water pressure and day-to-day living conditions, DC Water officials are also hopeful that the new tower will bring more economic development east of the Anacostia River, as the tank has the ability to hold 2 million gallons of water.

“This will help ensure there’s never a doubt that businesses like restaurants, grocery stores and gyms will have ample water pressure,” Morris said.

Crews will work over the next several months to install floor and roof panels, piping and sewer lines. The tower is slated to be operational by the spring.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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