Google's old water tanks suddenly turn up in new spot

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 01:22 AM

Amanda Pope wondered why 20 large, white tanks suddenly turned up on a property across from her house off Valway Drive.

“It’s kind of alarming, because you don’t know what’s in those tanks -- is it dangerous chemicals or what?” she said.

Turns out the 20 tanks are part of 63 spare water storage tanks donated by Google in February 2012 to the Caldwell Green Commission, Atlantic Caviar and Sturgeon Co., and the Caldwell Memorial Hospital Foundation. They aren’t hard to miss -- what a few days was just an acre of dirt a few days ago is now occupied by four neat rows of the 15,000-pound tanks, easily visible to area residents and passersby, many of whom, like Pope, wondered where they came from.

The tanks were replaced at Google’s data center in Lenoir. They had been used to hold water for the center’s cooling system.  The 20 tanks now on Valway Drive were sold last month by the Caldwell Green Commission to D.H. Griffin Demolition, Environmental and Site Development Specialists, which in turn will resell a portion of the tanks, said Melissa Patterson, the commission's executive director. The commission is a nonprofit that raises awareness of sustainable technologies, the responsible use of resources, and the adoption of alternative energy sources. D.H. Griffin sells used processing equipment, including tanks.