WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After serving the Wichita Falls community for nearly 100 years, the 9th Street water tower is close to retirement.

“This is just another one of our infrastructure improvement projects that are intended to better provide service to the citizens of Wichita Falls,” City of Wichita Falls Utilities Operation Manager Daniel Nix said.

The new 9th Street water tower is near completion.

What once stood below the near century-year-old tower now stands tall. But, it will still be a few months before it can be put to use.

“We have to finish the piping to connect the tank to the distribution system, and it has to pass a bacteriological test before we can put it in service,” Nix said.

There are additional steps to be taken, including the roof, sandblasting, coating, and painting the bowl. Plus, the old tower will still have to be drained.

“We’ll fill the new one and we’ll valve that off and then we will allow the existing tower to drop under normal demand conditions,” Nix explained. “Once it gets to a low point, we’ll valve that off and open the new one up. That will effectively put in the service, bring the old one out and any remaining water will just be drained through a drain line.”

The old tower was built just on the city limits of Wichita Falls in 1927, but with more development, it will provide more for parts of the city.

“That extra water will keep that tank from draining so rapidly. And of course, it provides good pressure, good volume, and a supply of water in case there’s a fire,” Nix said.

The new tank will hold 1.5 million gallons. Serving the community better for the next century.

Nix expects the tower to be ready for use by Spring 2024. It’s still undecided how the old tower will be taken down.