Impacts to System Pressure in Slocum Area


Update Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Slocum elevated water storage tank will be back in service later this morning.  Water samples collected from the tank  last week did not detect any volatile organic compounds.  The RI Department of Health reviewed the data and issued a final approval letter late yesterday.  Customers should be aware of the potential for discolored water as the system transitions back to normal operations.  Also, customers may notice a chlorine odor since we were required to disinfect the tank. 

We would like to thank you for your support and cooperation during this project. 




Update - Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Slocum tank has once again been drained and refilled.  This effort was hampered by frozen lines so it took a little longer to accomplish.  Samples were collected today and will be collected tomorrow to determine if the tank can be but back in service.


Update – Friday December 29, 2017


The analysis of the second round of samples, which were collected on 12/21, indicated low levels of volatile organic compounds are still present as a result of the interior recoating process. All bacteriological samples have continued to be negative. The tank was drained on 12/27-28 and our consulting engineer is now conferring with the painting contractor regarding any possible actions that may need to be taken before refilling the tank again. Two rounds of samples will need to be collected and analyzed after the refilling is completed.


Update Friday, December 22, 2017

Tank has been drained and refilled.  Samples were collected on 12/20 and 12/21.  No Volatile Organic Compounds were detected in the samples collected on 12/20.  Results from the samples collected on 12/21 will be available on Wednesday, 12/27.


Update Friday, December 15, 2017

Water quality testing results from the refilled tank collected last week showed low levels of volatile organic compounds from recoating process.  The tank must be drained, refilled and retested.  This work is currently in process.

Update Friday, December 8, 2017

Did manage to fill the Slocum Tank to the overflow level late on Wednesday afternoon.  Samples were collected on Thursday and Friday.  Sampling results for bacteria and volatile organic compunds should be available by Thursday, December 14.



Update December 5, 2017

We were able to put 11 feet of water in the tank today and will  resume filling tomorrow morning.  Hoping to reach the overflow level by the end of the day.  Samples will be collected on Thursday and Friday.  Bacteria results will be available by mid week next week.  Volatile Organic Compound results may take about a week.  Next update will be on Friday, December 8.

Update December 4, 2017

Another minor setback - the contractor needed to do some touch-ups on the interior coatings.  Today they performed a solvent rub test to verify that the coatings have cured. We will be flushing lines in the area tomorrow and will begin filling the tank until it overflows (need water contact with all interior surfaces).  After the tank is filled samples will be collected.   This will include two sets of bacteria samples 24 hours apart as well as samples for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).  At this point we are not sure how long it will take to fill the tank – so I will provide an update tomorrow on the sampling schedule.

Once all sampling results are acceptable to tank will be returned to service.


Update November 16, 2017

Additional weather delays have pushed back the filling of the Slocum Tank.  The tank contractor has been running heat for sixteen hours a day to achieve conditions suitable for paint application.  Todays rain and forecasted rain for Saturday will delay the application of the interior final coat until next week.  Application will be a two day process followed by a day of curing.  The interior coating will then be inspected and rigging removed from the interior section of the tank. Once those tasks are completed the tank will be chlorinated and filled.  After a day or two of contact time samples will be collected from the water in the tank to ensure that the water quality is acceptable to be put back in service.  

 Update November 2, 2017

The weather has resulted in a setback of approximately two (2) weeks.   The recent storm disturbed the containment that had been installed on the exterior staging. Fortunately the structure held up.  The damaged containment has been restored and work continues on containment for the roof of the tank. Exterior blasting should be finished some time next week.  The interior surfaces of the tank bowl have been prepped and primed.  Coating must be applied to the interior welding and then the finish coat will be applied. If all goes well and the weather cooperates we will have water back in the tank around November 15 (we keep trying but have not yet figured out how to control the weather!!).  Again, thank you for your patience.

Update October 6, 2017

The project is underway.  Clean out of the tank interior has been initiated,  this includes abrasive blasting of the interior water bearing surfaces.  Necessary wellding and repair of these surfaces should be completed over the next week, followed by the application of the interior coatings.  Concurrently, the scaffolding for access and containment for the exterior tank work is being erected.  

Thank you again for your patience and understanding.  

Update September 12, 2017

 As you  know, the Slocum Elevated Tank has been removed from active service and we have been testing various pumping schemes to ensure adequate water pressure and flow in all Slocum neighborhoods during the two or three month time frame needed to complete the tank work.  This morning between 7:00 and 8:00 AM the higher elevation neighborhoods located between Lafayette Road and the South County Trail experienced a short period of very low to no water pressure.  We apologize for this inconvenience. Our intent is to provide the most accurate up to date information right here.

First, active work on the tank structure has not yet started.  As mentioned above, we are currently testing methods to make sure we can provide adequate pressure and flow in water system.  Typically our water supply wells start and stop based on the water level in the storage tank.  Without a tank level, there is no way to know when and how much water is being used by our customers.   While certainly the most noticeable issue has been the low pressure in certain neighborhoods, we also must ensure that we don't over pressurize the system.  Under normal operating conditions, if wells do not turn off when demand is low, water would make its way to the storage tank and if the wells continued to pump, the tank would overflow.  The tank provides an "open end" to the system.  With the tank valve closed, such a situation could result in too much pressure in the pipes during periods when water demand is low - possibly causing water main breaks. The good news is that the unfortunate situation that occurred this morning provided us with valuable information regarding water demand patterns.  And again, many of the low pressure situations are being greatly exacerbated by lawn irrigation and we ask all residents, in particular in the Slocum area, to turn off their lawn irrigation systems.  

Today we began draining the water from the storage tank and the contractor that will build the scaffolding neccessary to work on this elevated tank has been moving materials to the site.  In addition the "behind the scene" work that is required to meet regulatory requirements such as review of shop drawings, and approval of health and safety plans goes on.


While customers in the Slocum and Saunderstown areas can anticipate fluctuations in pressure over the next couple of months, please call us if there are any unusual or extreme changes.

 We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and appreciate your understanding.  Anyone having any questions can call the NKWD at 268-1521 or 268-1522.




 Mission Statement:

It is the duty of the Department of Water Supply to provide water of adequate quality and quantity to our customers and to ensure that the Town water supply meets water quality standards as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Water Supply, Distribution and Storage

The North Kingstown Department of Water Supply is a municipally owned and operated water utility providing both domestic water and fire protection to a population of approximately 24,000 people. Currently there are approximately 9,417 active (metered) accounts with an average demand of 2.5 million gallons per day (MGD).  Summer peak demand has at times reached 8 MGD.  The water supply for the Town comes from 11 gravel packed groundwater wells located in the Hunt, Annaquatucket, Pettaquamscutt Sole Source Aquifer.  In addition to the municipal wells, the Department is responsible for maintenance of a distribution system consisting of five storage tanks, two booster stations, 1045 fire hydrants and 177 miles of distribution piping. 

The Water Department is operated as an Enterprise Fund, meaining that all funding comes from user fees - no tax dollars support the Water Department. The department employs 13 full time and one part-time employee. All Water Department staff (with the exception of two (2) clerical positions) must maintain Rhode Island Drinking Water Operator LIcenses in both Distribution and Treatment.