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Building 215A

Rocky Flats Plant, Water Tower
HAER No. CO-83-AF (Rocky Flats Plant, Building 215A)

Location:
Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, Highway 93, Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado. Building 215A is located in the northwest quadrant of the Rocky Flats Plant near the west terminus of Central Avenue, north of the Health Physics area.

Significance:
This building is a secondary contributor to the Rocky Flats Plant historic district, associated with the U.S. strategy of nuclear military deterrence during the Cold War, a strategy considered of major importance in preventing Soviet nuclear attack. Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. This building is the primary supply for the plant treated water distribution system. The water tower is the most visible feature of the plant from off site.

Description:
Building 215A is a 300,000-gallon elevated tank that receives treated water from Building 124, the Water Treatment Plant, for site-wide distribution. The tank is constructed of steel and is supported by a center metal pipe and six metal perimeter legs. One 700- and two 500-gallon-per-minute pumps deliver water from the clear well in Building 124 or from Building 215B, the ground-level tank, to the elevated tank. The elevated tank can be bypassed, and water sent directly to the treated water distribution system, as demand warrants. An alarm sounds in the Central Alarm Station in Building 121 for low- or high-water levels in the elevated tank.

Building 215A was the primary supply for the treated water distribution system. If the tank was out of service for any reason, water was supplied to the distribution system by the three service pumps, drawing from either the clear well or the ground level tank.

At a height of 155 feet, Building 215A is the tallest structure at the plant, and is the most visible structure from off site. The top of the tower is approximately the same elevation as Highway 93, which runs to the west of the plant. From the top of the tower, on a clear day, visibility extends to Limon, Colorado, approximately 90 miles to the east.

History:
Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. The plant's complete water supply, treatment, storage, and distribution system went into production in 1953 and has operated on a daily basis ever since. Due to its visibility off site, it is anticipated that demolition of the water tower will demonstrate progress of the cleanup effort to surrounding communities.

Sources:
United States Department of Energy. Rocky Flats Plant, Interim Safety Analysis Report (1989), by Rockwell International Energy Systems Group. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1989.

United States Department of Energy. Final Cultural Resources Survey Report (1995), by Science Applications International Corporation. Rocky Flats Repository. Golden, Colorado, 1995.

Web, Dave, employed at the plant since 1977. Personal communication, November 1997.

Historians:
D. Jayne Aaron, Environmental Designer, engineering-environmental Management, Inc. (e2M), 1997. Judith Berryman, Ph.D., Archaeologist, e2M, 1997.


Index to Photographs

Located in the northwest quadrant of the plant near the west terminus of Central Avenue, north of the Health Physics area, Golden Vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado.

Photograph CO-83-AF-1 was taken by DOW Chemical Company in November 1963.

CO-83-AF-1 – View of Building 215A, the water tower, looking west-southwest. Construction on Building 215A began in 1952. The water tower is 155 feet tall and is the tallest structure at the Rocky Flats Plant.
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