A water tower that helped build the Delta is standing tall once again at the edge of the Sacramento River.
Hundreds of locals and Delta visitors gathered Friday afternoon to watch the Dutra Tower rise up onto its permanent foundation. The historic tower now resides just behind the Delta Farmers Market on the eastern bank of the Sacramento River, easily visible from the road and the water.
The water tower was first built in 1904. It cradled an upper tank that delivered water to the 600 people in Rio Vista at the time. Water from the lower tank pushed asparagus through the Del Monte Cannery packing house, which was the largest cannery in the world at the time. The structure weighs 80,000 pounds and each tank can hold up to 55,000 gallons of water.
By the 1960s, the tower had sprung too many leaks to be of use to the city of Rio Vista and fell into disrepair.
In 1990, the Dutra family took over the property where the tower stood. In 2008, the family donated the tower to the Discover the Delta Foundation to use as a future landmark.
The tower was dismantled on May 21, 2009 in the Dutra Yard in Rio Vista, on the western side of the river. It was refurbished, with leaks repaired and a fresh coat of paint applied. It now bears the iconic Discover the Delta logo in bold orange and purple.
Next, it safely made the trip across the Sacramento River on Nov. 10, 2010. It was moved to the Discover the Delta Foundation's property on Sept. 29, 2011. And on Friday, the final phase was completed. The huge tanks will provide water for irrigating a future garden on the site, as well as educational projects for the future Delta Center.
It's an icon intended to highlight the California Delta for the community that lives there and tourists visiting for a closer look at what the region has to offer.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.