Rehabbing Elevated Water Tanks: There’s More to it Than Picking Out New Paint.

Often the most prominent structure in many communities, your elevated water tower is likely the first thing people see when arriving in your town. While a nicely painted water tower can give visitors a great first impression of your community, these structures are much more than a welcome sign to your community. From maintaining adequate distribution system pressures to providing storage to meet your community’s water demands; elevated water tanks play a vital role in your drinking water system. Construction of a new elevated water tank can be an expensive endeavor for a community which is why adequately maintaining existing tanks is critical to ensuring your community gets the most out of its investment while also maintaining a safe drinking water supply. 

As with any painted structure, over the years the coatings on a water tower will begin to fade, crack and peel and rust will begin to show. While the peeling paint and rust may appear to be just cosmetic, the actual repairs needed may be much more complicated than simply freshening it up with a new coat of paint. Over time corrosion can deteriorate access hatches, ladders, vents, and the tank itself. This corrosion, if not promptly addressed, can lead to safety hazards for water utility workers that maintain the structure and potentially water quality problems within your drinking water system.

Water tower repair and repainting projects can come with other challenges as well. These structures are often located in residential areas which require additional measures during the repair process to protect nearby homes and businesses from sand blasting dust and paint overspray. Additionally, older water towers can contain lead-based paints which must be properly removed and disposed of to prevent contamination of the site and nearby properties.

Water tower

Developing a proper rehabilitation plan, including selection of the right coating systems and adequately identifying what repairs need be made, is key to ensuring a successful outcome of your tank repair project and that you will get many more years of life out of your tank.

FOX Engineering has extensive experience in providing communities with engineering service related to elevated water tower rehabilitation projects and is ready to assist you!

FOX Engineering is an environmental engineering firm based in Ames, Iowa. We specialize in water and wastewater solutions for our diverse municipal and industrial clients. Our work varies in size and scope and can be found throughout the Midwest and beyond.