NEW ULM - The planned water tower for Nehls Park will have a slimmer, smaller design going forward, according to New Ulm Public Utilities Engineer Pat Wrase.
The controversial water tower plan, which drew the ire of Nehls Park area residents over concerns it would ruin the park, was initially planned to have a 500,000 gallon tank. The primary purpose of the design is to replace the aging water tower to Hermann Heights, increase the water capacity to accommodate populations increases in the hilltop area and provide water for future businesses in the growth corridor at the edge of town near Menards. Public Utilities selected Nehls Park as a site because the few other spaces available in the hilltop area conflicted with FAA air space regulations or the regulations of Hermann Heights by the Minnesota Historical Society.
However, Public Utilities will likely be going forward with reducing the size of the Nehls Park water tower down to a 250,000 gallon tank, said Wrase. The potential move was brought up after a recent test of the water piping system showed that the current infrastructure would only allow the Nehls Park water tower to minimally assist the New Ulm Municipal Airport water tower in supplying the large amount of water needed to fight a fire in the Menards area. For everything else, the Nehls Park water tower is projected to sufficiently supply the regular water needs.
The reductions in the size of the water tank will result in a slimmer water tower: the tank will shrink from a 50-feet diameter to a 42-feet diameter and the column will shrink from a 34-feet diameter to a 25-feet diameter. The reduced water storage will made up for with future options, which could possibly included building another small water tower, reconstructing the airport water tower or redesigning the piping in the area to increase water flow capacity.
The final decision any changes to the planned Nehls Park water tower, along with the rest of the report on the project, will be presented at City Hall during the Nov. 15 meeting of the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission.
Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at