Maintenance Keeps Over Century-Old Tank in Use

TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020

Last month, service company Sheffield Utilities (Sheffield, Alabama) announced that it would be gearing up to complete a four- to five-week-long maintenance project at a local 118-year-old water storage tank.

While the standpipe was constructed in 1902, Times Daily reports that although it's not the oldest tank in the area, it is the oldest tank still being used.

Maintaining Old Tanks

According to Sheffield Utilities General Manager Steve Hargrove, the services company uses seven tanks in the area, and has a specific contract with the 118-year-old standpipe located at the north end of Montgomery Avenue, which allows for regular inspection, necessary cleaning, repairs and coatings operations.

Mike Doyle, Florence Gas, Water and Wastewater Department Manager, added that water tanks need to be flushed periodically, cleaned and checked for rust and corrosion—regardless of expense—to keep a healthy water storage and distribution system.

Regarding the current maintenance project, Hargrove said, “This is just the one that's due.” Reports add that the project will cost roughly $200,000 to complete.

"It's in good condition because we do what we do," Hargrove said. "If you let it go too far, it's going to cost you more."

However, before work can begin, Sheffield Utilities will first have to set up environmental protection measures, which was slated to take up to four or five days. In photographs of the tank’s preparation, viewers can see workers releasing bolts on the exterior of the standpipe so that water can be drained and the interior pressure washed. Hoses were also used to complete the draining process.

After the tank was successfully emptied, photos revealed reddish interior walls and a worker sweeping the floor of the standpipe in preparation for refurbishing operations. In following cleaning operations, reports indicate that the tank will receive new coatings to the interior and exterior, in addition to valve inspection and possible repairs.

Work on the project is expected to take the tank our of the system for multiple weeks.

Doyle adds that the city currently maintains five water tanks in the area. These tanks are reported to be inspected annually and receive repairs when required. Other old tanks in the area include one that dates back to the 1940s—acquired from the Sheffield water system—and a tank dating back to 1950 located in Spring Park.

Reports add that the oldest tank in the city is located on Seymour Street, but has been out of service for decades. The tank was built in the 1890s, and during its time of use, was used to store water pumped from Cypress Creek. The tank was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Other Tank News

At the beginning of the year, SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings announced in emailed press releases its 2020 award recipients, honoring the top people, papers and projects from the industry over the past year. The awards were presented on the first day of SSPC’s yearly conference and exhibition, Coatings+ 2020, during the annual Awards Luncheon which took place at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California.

This year, outstanding tank projects in the protective coatings field included the Mesa Del Sol 2.0 MG Elevated Tank in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the City of Celina Downtown Elevated Storage Tank in Celina, Texas; and the Valley Crest Plant Water Tank and Pump Station in Apple Valley, California.

At the beginning of last month, Paint BidTracker reported that the Beaver Falls Municipal Authority awarded a contract in the amount of $1,027,477 for the rehabilitation and coating of the Freedom and 45th Street Water Tanks to Worldwide Industries Corporation of Butler, Pennsylvania.

The project involves the cleaning and recoating the interior and exterior surfaces of 1.25 million- and 1 million-gallon standpipe tanks.

Also last month, local muralists Ian Wilkinson and Ishmael were reported to have completed a collaboration project in Asheville, North Carolina, on a historic silo in the town’s River Arts District. Updated with a more current message, “Stay Home,” the silo now provides a reflection of requested action taken by the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the River Arts District, the silo is part of Earle- Chesterfield Mill Company, which occupied multiple mill and silo buildings adjacent to the Hatchery. The structure was built in 1955, however, some of the older structures date back to 1905.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Contracts; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Project Photos; Rehabilitation/Repair; Surface preparation; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Water Tanks

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.