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Teaming up for the long-term care of water storage tanks in Youngstown, OH

3 min read

Project Summary


City of Youngstown, OH

A map of the USA with a marker on Youngstown, OH.

Type of Project

Water tank renovation and mixer installation


  • Renovated four water tanks ranging from 500,000 to 2.2 million gallons
  • Improved water quality
  • Met Ohio EPA Asset Management Requirements
  • Transferred risk from City to USG Water Solutions

Located in northeastern Ohio, midway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the city of Youngstown and its surrounding metro area are home to half a million people. In the heart of the Rust Belt, Youngstown has continued to redefine itself since the decline of the U.S. steel industry in the 1970s. The city prides itself on an entrepreneurial tradition and created the Youngstown Business Incubator, a program that offers resources for entrepreneurs.

The city buys water from the nearby Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD) and distributes it to 150,000 customers in the city and neighboring areas, making it one of the five largest systems in northeast Ohio. The city system has seven water tanks, ranging in size from 500,000 to 2.2 million gallons.

A recent inspection showed that four out of the seven water tanks were in need of renovation work in the near future. Four of the tanks had visible rust and corrosion and some were experiencing steel failure. Roof rafters in two of the tanks were corroded and were experiencing steel loss resulting from previous renovations not being done correctly and lack of inspection. USG Water Solutions (USG) not only guarantees the initial renovation but also provides yearly inspection services, ensuring the tanks remain in like new condition until the next scheduled renovation under the asset management program.

A Youngstown, OH water tank being repaired.

Asset management is a relatively simple approach in which a municipality, like the city of Youngstown, enters into a multi-year agreement with a qualified professional – in this case, USG – to rehabilitate and maintain its water assets. After the initial rehabilitation, the municipality transfers the responsibility for annual inspection and maintenance of the asset to the professional who assumes all maintenance risk for a set annual cost. Funds are accrued annually to cover the cost of future rehabilitations.

USG renovated four of the tanks in the first three years, replacing the entire roof on one tank because of rafter corrosion. The other three tanks will be renovated over the next few years. The company also installed mixers in all seven tanks as a preventative measure for improved water quality.