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City considering customizing new Laurel Street water tank

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Laurel Street Water Tower

As plans to redevelop Rock Hill’s textile corridor into the new Knowledge Park get underway, city officials say plans for redeveloping major infrastructure may also include jazzing up a new 750,000-gallon water tank on Laurel Street.

The current tank holds 500,000 gallons and is one of five across the city serving the downtown Rock Hill area.

Water is constantly pumped in and out of the tower, City Manager David Vehaun said, and is designed to assist pumps at ground level to maintain water pressure.

But at a Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation retreat Friday, Vehaun said city staff are looking to make the 100-foot tower more than just a holding tank.

“We’re investigating to see if there are ways to turn this into something more than just a water tower,” Vehaun said.

In Fort Mill, leaders built a baseball-shaped tank along Interstate 77 near Gold Hill Road, within eyesight of the nearby Knights Stadium.

“The baseball tank was easy because it’s round … and round is a tank that they typically make,” Vehaun said.

And in Gaffney, what is affectionately known as the “Peachoid” is a popular attraction along Interstate 85. It’s recently received more fame as a subplot in the Netflix TV series “House of Cards.”

“Customized water takes are out there,” Vehaun said. “Typically [municipalities] paint an image on their tank, or they are fortunate enough to have tanks that are built on the ground.”

All five of the city’s water tanks are built at the same level. The new tank, when constructed, will provide water storage for fire-related issues and provide additional capacity for the Knowledge Park development.

Similar improvements are underway along White Street, including new water, sewer and electrical lines that are all underground.

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