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Cavalier Air Force Station (CAFS or Station) is a United States Air Force installation located approximately 15 miles west of the City of Cavalier, North Dakota. CAFS hosts the 10th Space Warning Squadron of the 21st Space Wing and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the GE An/FPQ-16 Enhanced Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System (PAR). The PAR monitors and tracks potential missile launches against North America as well as other earth-orbiting objects from space debris to satellites. The PAR has the ability to spot an object the size of a basketball up to 2,000 miles away.


As of January 1st, 2019, the water and sewer utilities at the Cavalier Air Force Station have been privatized through a contract award to Base Utilities, Inc. a company based out of Minot, North Dakota. BUI was previously granted the water and sewer privatization contract at the Minot Air Force Base in 2014, the first of its kind for the United States Air Force. Since 2014, Ackerman-Estvold has been frequently requested to assist with BUI’s engineering needs.


The first project BUI will complete at CAFS is the construction of a new 1.25-million gallon composite elevated storage tank, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be commissioned by Aug 1st, 2020. However, a new tower was not the initial strategy to address the water needs at CAFS. Upon takeover of utilities by BUI, the existing water system utilized a below-grade water storage tank and an aging pump station to pressurize the installations distribution system. In order to meet an increased need for available storage, the USAF had originally planned to construct an additional below-grade reservoir and rehab the existing pump station. Upon review of the water system by BUI and Ackerman-Estvold, it was determined to construct a new elevated storage tank and decommission the existing pump station and below-ground reservoir.


A composite style elevated storage tank was recommended for this application as it is typically the most economical to construct for the specified volume, increased durability, limited maintenance requirements, increased security, and the ability house waterworks equipment within the concrete pedestal. The proposed elevated storage tank was the most efficient option that takes full advantage of the hydraulic gradient supplied by the regional water source. This design also has the lowest associated operation and maintenance costs, as well as limits the requirements for expensive equipment that protects against high-altitude electromagnetic pulse, a USAF requirement.

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