Fullerton Reservoirs

The three tanks near Fullerton, Maryland, provide critical finished water storage for 315,000 residents in the eastern part of Baltimore County. After a three-and-a-half-year construction schedule, the project helps the county and city achieve their goals of enhanced zonal distribution of storage, while providing reliable suction conditions at the Fullerton Pumping Station. The Fullerton Reservoirs feature the largest finished water storage capacity in Baltimore County. The project is a critical step in a long-term water supply plan set forth more than 60 years ago to use the Fullerton site to help improve the finished water supply to the 1.8 million customers in the Baltimore distribution system.

What We Did

Each tank is made of 67 concrete wall panels containing a steel membrane and weighing 40 tons apiece. After installation, the tanks were wrapped with high tensile-strength wire around their circumference, enabling them to withstand the force of more than 20 million gallons of water. Each tank’s flat, concrete roof—supported by 132 columns—is designed for a minimal profile, making it inconspicuous to the surrounding community.

Because the new tanks are designed to function as clear wells for the future Fullerton Filtration Plant planned for the same site, the design team added baffle walls to the tank interiors. The baffles, constructed of 10-ton wall panels, enhance water circulation to maximize chlorine contact time, ensuring water quality, as required for finished water storage.

The tanks are both watertight and flexible, thanks to one of the key features of the D110 Type 3 tank, the monolithic concrete curb. Because there is no physical connection between the wall and the curb, the tank can breathe, allowing it to expand and contract with changes in water elevation, as well as the drastic environmental variations typical to the MidAtlantic region.

A key goal of the project was to provide each tank with enough sidewall depth so that the future filtration plant could drive water into the distribution system by gravity, as well as provide adequate suction conditions for the Fullerton Pumping Station. As such, close coordination with the city’s Water Analyzer Office was required to set each tank’s overflow elevation and the resulting tank sidewall depth of 40 feet.

The three covered tanks ensure Baltimore’s water continues provide a reliable flow for the drinking water system and provide a reserve for firefighting and other emergency needs. The facility is also a good neighbor, making the upgraded system possible without downgrading neighborhood views.

Key Features

  • Three 21-million-gallon AWWA D110 Type 3 tanks, each made of 67 concrete wall panels weighing 40 tons apiece.
  • Baffle walls within each tank enhance water circulation to ensure water quality.
  • Flat roofs, in lieu of domed, lower the tanks’ profiles to minimize visual impact of the facility.
  • Monolithic concrete curbs allow the tanks to expand and contract, based on water elevation and varying climate conditions.

Awards & Recognition

  • National Recognition, 2022, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Engineering Excellence Awards.
  • Award of Excellence, 2022, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Maryland, Engineering Excellence Awards.
  • Award of Merit – Large Project, 2020, County Engineers Association of Maryland Annual Awards.
OUTCOMES

Provides the largest finished water storage capacity in Baltimore County.

Reliable water supply for 315,000 residents of Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

Enhances zonal distribution of water storage.

Improves suction conditions at the Fullerton Pumping Station.