Water Treatment Building & Brick Building–2018
The Unity Acres Property is not served by municipal water (or sewer), so we have to provide these services ourselves. Our water system consists of a drilled well, a small cinder-block pump house hidden away amongst the trees, and a ‘Water Treatment Building’. This last is a small white frame building immediately to the east of the Dining Hall. Below grade, at the bottom of a short flight of stairs are located the modern pumps, pumps drives, and chlorinator that were installed back in the fall of 2012, and which replaced a very old, temperamental and idiosyncratic collection of pumps, compressors and controls.
There are are also two large contact tanks in the Water Treatment Building, each containing up to 1,000 gallons of water [1,000 gallons = 8,340 pounds!].
These tanks had been put in place in 2003 after one of the original cast-iron underground storage tanks failed suddenly, and were placed atop hastily improvised wooden supports, which during the subsequent fifteen or so years deteriorated badly. With the deterioration of the original wooden supports, the large water tanks were beginning to tilt alarmingly.
This spring we had the old rotten supports replaced with cinder-block, and additionally have some of old valves and other hardware replaced.
We’ve dubbed The other major project for Spring 2018 the ‘Brick Restoration’. The Brick Building used to house a dormitory for new residents, but is now used principally for storage of donated clothing and coffee, mattresses, furniture and a great deal of other items. The Coffee Shop is attached to the Brick Building and a Carpentry Shop and a Plumbing Shop are located in the basement, as well as a tunnel providing access to the ‘C Building’ basement. Critically, the electrical service for the entire Unity Acres property is fed through the ‘Electrics Room’ in the basement of the Bricks.
A few years ago, a small shed attached to the back of Bricks collapsed. This shed had been used as a storage space for lawn mowers and other such equipment. Soon after, another attached shed collapsed under the weight of a heavy snow-fall. Neither of these sheds were being used at the time. However, once the debris had been cared away, it was clear that the Bricks would need attention soon: the north-facing wall was in very bad condition. In places, with missing mortar, gaps between the bricks went all the way from the exterior of the wall to the interior side.
But before addressing the masonry issues, we needed to attend to the roof! Fortunately, we were able to hire two local roofers who installed sheet-metal roofing during the fall of 2017. With the new roof in place, we were able to move on to the next step late during the spring of 2018 and hired a contractor to replace crumbled bricks and eroded mortar.