South Park water tower comes down

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Photos by Pete Rauch

The water tower at South Park in Monett came down with a resounding boom on Jan. 21. An eight-man crew for Iseler Demolition, of Romeo, Mich,, a subcontractor working for Utility Services, began work before sunrise. They cut out a large section of the heavy cold-rolled steel wall, and dropped the 30-foot diameter tower into a 40-foot diameter space in about 90 minutes. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the crew initially planned to take the tower down in pieces, but were able to lower it quickly after removing one mostly dead soft maple tree. The crew then cut the steel in sections and hauled it away for salvage, even vacuuming the ground for scraps. They completed work by 4:30 p.m. The only surprise came in discovering the tower, which dates back to the 1930s, at one point developed a leak in the bottom. A thick layer of grout was added over the leak and a new steel bottom welded in place. Removing the 400,000-gallon tower cost $18,000, compared to $400,000 to rehabilitate it. Rauch said he preferred to put the money into a new and larger tower at some future date in a different location.