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Case Study: Wahpeton, Iowa, Reaps the Rewards of Storage Tank Mixing

Thousands of miles from the coast, lake communities are at the center of summertime fun in the US Midwest.

However, as millions of families flock to their favorite lakeside spots, municipalities close to the shore will see water usage rates more than double the yearly average. To help cope with these shifting needs, one Iowa community required a larger capacity storage tank and a proven mixing system for its community water system.

Increased water usage obviously calls for greater water storage capacity, but many municipalities can’t afford to build a larger water tower. Such a solution may not even make sense given the large discrepancies between high- and low-usage months. However, consider the city of Wahpeton, Iowa, located near the popular West Okoboji Lake. 

Wahpeton’s water department struggled to provide consistent water service to the community during the summer months, primarily due to its limited water tower capacity of 50,000 gallons.

To make up for the seasonal gap in the summer, the city purchased water from nearby Milford, Iowa. This is a common solution for lake communities, but it seemed odd for Wahpeton, which overlooks Iowa’s second-largest fresh water source. Recognizing they were missing out on an opportunity to capitalize on such a great, nearby resource, the city’s leaders decided to pursue increased water storage capacity.

Wahpeton officials worked with engineers at ISG, a nationally recognized architecture and engineering multidisciplinary firm, to review their potential options. Typical water usage during the winter months was approximately 0.050 MGD, but water demand increased during the summer months to a peak of 0.250 MGD. To handle the increased summertime demand, a 200,000-gallon water tower was designed to replace the existing 50,000-gallon tower.

Read the complete Opflow Success Story.

Consider a Tideflex® Mixing System for Your Potable Water Storage Tanks

Custom Engineered for an Innovative Mixing Solution

Red Valve has developed an unparalleled approach to eliminate shortcircuiting, minimize water stagnation, and achieve complete mixing in water storage tanks—the Tideflex® Mixing System (TMS). The key to the TMS is the Tideflex® Check Valve. Red Valve’s engineering team expanded the valve's use by developing it into a Variable Orifice Inlet Nozzle that provides superior mixing characteristics when compared with a fixed-diameter pipe.

The TMS has been validated to achieve complete mixing and improve water quality in chlorinated and chloraminated systems in every tank style. Red Valve engineers custom design every TMS based on tank style, material, volume, dimensions, flow rates, and volume turnover.

TMS solves many water quality problems, including:

  • Loss of disinfectant residual
  • Spikes in disinfection by-products
  • Nitrification in chloraminated systems
  • Bacteria and biofilm growth
  • Variations in pH and dissolved oxygen
  • Aging water
  • Thermal stratification
  • Ice formation
  • Taste and odor issues

  • Check out the animations below to see the TMS in action!
    TMS in Elevated Tanks
    TMS in Standpipes
    TMS in Circular and Rectangular Tanks
    Want to Know More About Storage Tank Mixing?

    Although the benefits of maximizing tank turnover to minimize water age are generally understood, recently extensive research on mixing characteristics of storage tanks has provided insight on what causes water quality problems. To learn more, fill out the form below to receive Red Valve’s free white paper, The Science of Mixing and Improving Water Quality in Water Storage Tanks, plus you'll be entered in a drawing to win a Fire 7 tablet! Call the company at (412) 279-0044 to receive a free TMS Design Report for your tank that includes mixing and water age analysis.


    Red Valve can work with your utility to provide a system that meets your unique needs and challenges—now and in the future.
    Learn more about Red Valve's Tideflex Mixing System!