Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

WI Water Tower Goes PG-13

Friday, June 9, 2017

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from North America

Comment | More

Travelers near one Wisconsin town were for a short time greeted by the word “sex” emblazoned in huge letters on the town’s water tower in what amounted to a paint job gone awry that left town residents both amused and confused.

One of the contractors working on the job told TMJ4 that there was no intent to leave the tower in its current state. They were trying to paint over the city’s name, Sussex, on the water tower in order to add a new logo, but had to stop Wednesday, June 1, when they ran into a venting issue and had to let the paint dry.

The contractor, reportedly Utility Services, of Georgia, was back on the job Thursday to finish the project.

Whether an innocent coincidence or not, painters were apparently enjoying the attention. "We kind of like the honks when they go by and a little bit of the road traffic. When do you ever get a chance to paint ‘sex’ on a water tower?" painter Jesse Sheets told TMJ4.

Once Wasn't Enough

It's reportedly not the first time the same thing has happened; a paint job in 1996 resulted in the same situation, according to local blogger Chris Aykroid. At that time, painters were just applying the "Sussex" lettering for the first time, and they chose to start with the "X" and work backward—and they coincidentially had to stop halfway through. According to Aykroid, the tower said nothing but "SEX" all weekend.

Sussex parents were said to have been scandalized then, and a new generation of moms and dads was subjected to awkward questions last week.

“It's not like it's anything pornographic, but it certainly caught the attention of my 8-year-old. While I think it's funny for adults, people should remember that kids are seeing it," local mother Jessica Bruss told TMJ4.

Editor's note: This story was one of our most popular "Off the Wall" features of 2017, and appeared in our Readers' Choice issue on Dec. 29.


Tagged categories: Paint application; Painting Contractor; potable water

Comment from M. Halliwell, (6/9/2017, 11:20 AM)

Maybe the town needs to add a line to their paining contracts to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Vector Technologies Ltd.
The Original Performance Proven Vacuum Solutions
VecLoader® 616 Double Dump, Continuous Vacuum, 170 HP w/ 2,400 CFM & 28” Hg. 33% More Efficient than traditional vacuum systems! Choose Vector for the most powerful and the most reliable trailer mounted vacuums in the industry! Email us at: or call us at: 800-832-4010

Fischer Technology Inc.
FISCHER Expands Corrosion Product Line
Rounding out Fischer’s extensive line of products for measuring protective coatings in the corrosion industry is the new ultrasonic wall thickness gauge UMP series.

CHLOR*RID International Inc.
Companies that invest in corrosion control use CHLOR RID products
  • Soluble salt removal liquid
  • Test kits to verify contamination levels
  • Surface passivation to hold the blast
INFO@CHLOR-RID.COM 800.422.3217

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques
With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us