WI Water Tower Goes PG-13

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2017

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: North America; Paint application; Painting Contractors; potable water; Program/Project Management; Tanks

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