Paint Work Nearly Complete on IN Water Tower
Repainting and repairs are being finished on a water tower in Albion, Indiana, after nearly two months of work. The $333,400 project is being completed by The George Kountoupes Painting Company (Lincoln Park, Michigan).
Originally built in the 1970s, the water tower has been repainted twice since it was first constructed. Water Department Superintendent Terry Forker told the Albion New Era that a third coat of paint wasn’t going to work for the latest maintenance.
The initial coat of paint contained lead, so the contractor had to strip the 300,000-gallon water tower and then collect all the paint due to environmental regulations. Once that paint was collected, the water tower was then repainted.
Town Manager Tena Woenker reports that the team has been working seven days a week, weather permitting. Larry Olivero, project foreman for Kountoupes, said the rain and windy weather had slowed the project down.
Four coats of fresh paint were applied to the structure for the project. In total, approximately 300 gallons of paint were used.
Additional repairs and upgrades were completed on the tower, including the construction of stairs inside of the tower. A catwalk with railing was also installed along the exterior of the tank.
Once renovations are complete, two rounds of tests on the water will be completed to ensure it is safe prior to refilling the tank. Forker explained that water gets into the tower after it has been treated at the treatment plant.
Water is pumped from the town’s wells to keep pressure in all of the water lines and, after that pressure is reached, any excess water goes into the north or south water towers. Then, the pumps automatically shut off after the water level reaches a certain target in the tower to supply both residential and industrial needs.
If the water drops to a certain level in the tank, the pumps reactivate and the process repeats itself. On average, Albion reportedly uses about 300,000 gallons of water per day. The town reportedly paid out-of-pocket for the work on the tower.
Recent Water Tower Work
Earlier this month, it was reported that work has been delayed for the repainting on a water tower in Perrysburg, Ohio, after contractors used the wrong color paint and the wrong logo stencil. The elevated water tank is being repainted after a routine inspection in January 2020 found corrosion that needed to be removed.
The decision to maintain the water tank’s original design, which features silhouettes of families and the city’s name, also sparked controversy after racist jokes reportedly circulated on social media about the color of the artwork.
In November, the council approved a $438,725 contract with Seven Brothers Painting Inc. In total, $800,000 had been budgeted for the project. The council also approved spending up to an additional $55,000 for new rebranding and paint colors.
However, according to reports, Seven Brothers Painting bought black paint, as opposed to the updated blue color, and used the old stencil for the city’s name on the tank. The error has since been painted over.
During original council discussions, the contractor reportedly estimated a cost of $300 per gallon for the paint. The cost to paint the silhouettes had amounted to $47,000, out of an originally projected $55,000.
City officials noticed the error when performing a routine progress check as painting began on June 30. The error has since been repainted over, but officials confirm that the information sent to the contractor was correct.
Work is expected to resume once the new paint color arrives, anticipated to arrive within 10 days. The contractor will then finish the lettering and silhouettes. Afterwards, it will take two to three days to fill the tower, in addition to testing to confirm efficacy of the water.
The original plan anticipated the project to be completed before summer. However, the new estimated date for finishing the project has been pushed back at least two weeks.