Visitors who come to Pocahontas County, W.Va., each winter hope for one thing: snow, and lots of it. The world-famous Snowshoe Mountain Resort is known for skiing, and thousands of visitors flock there every year to enjoy its picturesque views and winter attractions.
What visitors see when they arrive is beautiful West Virginia mountains featuring a ski resort, trails, a forest and opportunities to enjoy the snow. However, what visitors do not see is perhaps one of the most vital and interesting features of Snowshoe Mountain.
The Cheat Mountain Water Co., a private utility, is responsible for care of the potable water needs of Snowshoe Mountain and the surrounding area. The Pocahontas County Public Service District (PSD) provides for some of the area’s wastewater needs. It would be hard for winter visitors to imagine the summer days that reach 100°F here, as well as the extreme climate changes from cold to heat at Snowshoe Mountain, which make the care of water and wastewater infrastructure a challenge.
The challenging climate also makes it surprising to find that the water plant’s oldest potable water tank—an Aquastore tank provided by Mid Atlantic Storage Systems capable of storage for 500,000 gal—recently celebrated 35 years in service without significant maintenance.
During that time, the increasing number of visitors to Snowshoe Mountain has required the water company to expand operations. In 2003, Snowshoe Mountain vertically expanded its existing 2-million-gal equalization tank, originally built in 1998, to accommodate an additional 1.23 million gal. In 2004, a new 500,000-gal potable water tank was installed next to the original.
In 2009, when the water company moved overflows and installed replacement sheets, it was surprised to find upon inspection that the interior of the 35-year-old Aquastore tank was in near perfect condition.
“Aquastore tanks feature a unique glass-fused-to-steel interior and exterior coating,” said Jim Wary, regional sales manager for Mid Atlantic Storage Systems. “The glass withstands the extreme cold in the winter, as well as the extreme heat of heat of summer. And these tanks never need to be repainted. Given the good maintenance performed regularly by the water company, it wasn’t surprising to find this tank in excellent condition and able to continue performing well for what we hope will be many years to come.”
Routine maintenance of the tank has included re-edging the coated sheet edges, as well as adding exterior bolt caps. Less than $10,000 has been spent on maintenance over 35 years.
Mid Atlantic Storage Systems has provided all but one of the storage tanks for Snowshoe Mountain. In addition to the aforementioned tanks, it has erected a wastewater tank at Hawthorn Valley capable of storing 46,000 gal as well as a potable water tank at Hawthorne Valley with a capacity of 25,000 gal. The performance of these tanks, as well as the service provided by Mid Atlantic Storage Systems, would make it easy to choose Aquastore products in the future.
Products such as Aquastore storage tanks partnered with quality operators such as the Cheat Mountain Water Co. and Pocahontas County PSD allow public water and wastewater services to operate smoothly behind the scenes, and they allow thousands of residents and visitors to enjoy the many attractions at Snowshoe Mountain every year.