Construction of the new 2 million gallon water storage tank, to service the City of Early and the Zephyr Water Supply Corporation is expected to be complete at the end of January. The contract for the entire project has a projected completion date of May 15.

Early City Administrator, Ken Thomas, said they and the Zephyr Water Supply Corp. are sharing the expense of construction, as a more convenient way of delivering water to their customers. Combined, the two entities serve a base of around 2,600 customers, with ZWSC expecting to add around 200 new customers, upon completion.

According to Thomas, the project was a matter of timing. Early's water treatment facility was in need of costly updates and improvements. Because ZWSC purchased it's water from the City of Early, entering into a partnership on the construction of the water storage system was the obvious decision. Once the new system is online, the treatment facility will be shut down and all water for both entities will be purchased, pretreated, from the Brown County Water Improvement District.

On Monday, crews of DN Tanks were applying ShotCrete to the metal exterior of the tank. Roberto Gonzales, project superintendent for the Grand Prairie based company, explained the process.

"High pressure air is applied to the concrete mixture and it is sprayed through a hose, just like spraying paint," Gonzales said.

A heavy gauge steel wire is wrapped completely around the exterior of the tank, to help hold the wall sections together. Each layer of wire consists of 30 strands and a new layer is applied between layers of ShotCrete. The number of layers of wire increases from three at the top to 6 at the bottom, where the weight of the water creates the most pressure on the tank. The ShotCrete will average one-half inch in thickness. That part of the project will require 207 yards of concrete. The entire tank project will utilize 750 yards.