Impact Award Lauds Water Projects


Restoration of two 60- and 80-year-old domestic anaerobic digesters for the city of Austin, MN, earned three companies top honors in the inaugural Sherwin-Williams Impact Award.

The winning project team included:

The challenging project is said to have impressed the program’s judges, who sought to recognize notable projects featuring coating and lining materials from the Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings portfolio.

The Cleveland-based company announced the winners at the Water Environment Federation’s WEFTEC Conference Monday (Sept. 26) in New Orleans.

Carolina Management Team (CMT) of Asheville, NC, earned runner-up distinction. A project by Indianapolis-based Tank Industry Consultants and Menomonie, WI’s Classic Protective Coatings earned an honorable mention for the award, as did a project by DeltaTek Engineering (Irving, TX) and Utility Service Group, a division of SUEZ Environnement (Cypress, TX).  

“We created the Sherwin-Williams Impact Award to honor demanding water and wastewater projects and recognize those professionals who contribute to improving public health and safety by enhancing water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Kevin Morris, market segment director for Water & Wastewater.

He noted that the award entries demonstrated project excellence in using high-performance protective coatings to address corrosion-related problems across a variety of water and wastewater structures, such as storage, transmission and treatment facilities.

Challenging Conditions Lead to Win

According to Sherwin-Williams, the three Impact Award winners persevered through major challenges to restore two severely deteriorated anaerobic digesters. Constructed between 1938 and 1959, they had numerous cracks in their concrete covers that caused the tanks to lose pressure.

Austin MN tank

The winning project was the restoration of two 60- and 80-year-old domestic anaerobic digesters for the city of Austin, MN, by a team composed of Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc., Champion Coatings and Wapasha Construction.

To solve the facility owner’s problem, SEH recommended the company’s polyurethane elastomer lining, and contractors successfully sealed the cracks to form a monolithic surface despite challenging operating and weather conditions.

Crews reportedly applied the product to the undersides of the concrete covers, as well as to the upper portion of the tank sidewalls. They also used the company’s multi-purpose epoxy product to address corrosion on some steel surfaces.

However, the team also had to confirm that the tanks would hold pressure after completing the repairs. It didn’t after the first repair application, the coatings maker said, so crews reapplied the coating and tested pressure again. Still, the tank didn’t hold pressure.

After much troubleshooting, crewmembers discovered a difficult-to-access cold joint that needed to be filled. They carefully repaired the cold joint and realized success, and the tank held pressure on the next test.

Because of climate and cold weather, it took nearly six months to adequately coat the first tank and ready it for service, Sherwin-Williams said. With the lessons learned on the first tank, the contractors were able to make some adjustments that enabled them to repair the second tank faster and without issues.

“SEH, Champion Coatings and Wapasha Construction faced a lot of trial and error to properly seal the anaerobic digesters due to difficult-to-access areas within the tanks,” Morris said.

“Through engagement of all parties, their perseverance demonstrated the companies’ commitment to ensuring quality repairs to extend infrastructure life, “ he added.

Charitable Contributions

Infrastructure rehabilitation contractor CMT earned distinction as runner up for the Impact Award for its donation of $45,000 in labor and material costs to restore a 500,000-gallon water storage tank for the town of Marshall, NC.

Marshall NC tank

The runner-up project was the restoration of a 500,000-gallon water storage tank for the town of Marshall, NC—contributed at no cost to the town by infrastructure rehabilitation contractor Carolina Management Team.

CMT reportedly used the supplier’s sealants, mortars, waterproofers and acrylic coatings to rehabilitate the tank, which that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality deemed “a significant issue that needs to be corrected.”

The project was completed as part of the CMT Gives Back charitable program, which provides water or wastewater infrastructure rehabilitation services at no cost to rural communities that can’t afford to address necessary improvements.

In completing the project, CMT first prepared surfaces per SSPC-SP 13 to achieve the specified surface profile, and then fixed cracks, repaired spalled areas, and applied primer and intermediate coats. They then applied a topcoat and a painted band around the tank’s perimeter.

Weather, Site Challenges

Two projects that utilized the coatings manufacturer’s primers, high-solids epoxies and polyurethanes earned honorable mentions for the award.

In 2015, a project team composed of Classic Protective Coatings and Tank Industry Consultants managed the recoating of the interior and exterior of a 2-million-gallon elevated water tank for the city of Fort Worth.

Fort Worth water tank

The recoating of the interior and exterior of a 2-million-gallon elevated water tank in Fort Worth, conducted by a project team including Classic Protective Coatings and Tank Industry Consultants, earned an honorable mention.

The painting contractor faced weather challenges ranging from major rain delays to the hot Texas summertime. To help slow down the coating drying times, Sherwin-Williams said it consulted with the project’s contractor and engineers on reduction rates and product selections. This enabled longer application windows for crews to complete sections of the massive tower.

Also in 2015, integrated engineering solution provider DeltaTek Engineering partnered with water and waste management service provider Utility Service Group to recoat a 1.5-million-gallon tank located in Duncanville, TX.

Duncanville TX water tower

An honorable mention distinction also went to DeltaTek Engineering and Utility Service Group for the recoating of a 1.5-million-gallon tank located in Duncanville, TX.

Inclement weather conditions related to cold temperatures, wind and precipitation reportedly brought challenges to the project. Other factors contributing to the difficulty included loads of piping within the structure and in close proximity to the tank, chemical feed buildings near the structure, rocky terrain around the exterior, and the tank’s location in a highly visible area, Sherwin-Williams noted.

“In spite of these difficulties, Utility Service Group achieved success with an excellent final appearance for the tank,” it added.

About the Impact Award

The Sherwin-Williams Impact Award program recognizes application contractors, specifiers and owners for excellence on North American water and wastewater projects that have a compelling effect on the industry with regard to public safety, asset protection and infrastructure lifecycle improvement. Eligible projects included any water-related structure that was new, restored and/or rehabilitated in 2015 and was completed using coating and lining materials from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings.

An independent panel of water industry experts rated entries based on the difficulty of the project, how the contractor overcame challenges, what solutions the contractor provided to the owner, the owner’s satisfaction with the outcome, and the overall uniqueness of the project.

Tim Greene, coating service project manager for S&ME; Randy Nixon, president and co-founder of Corrosion Probe Inc.; Gregory R. “Chip” Stein, managing principal for Tank Industry Consultants; and Larry Skip Vernon, president of Coating & Lining Technologies Inc. served as judges.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Blasting; Coating Materials; concrete; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Grout; Latin America; Linings; Mortars; North America; Protective Coatings; Sherwin-Williams; Tanks; Tanks and vessels; Water Tanks

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