PA University Water Tank Repaint Completed


A water storage tank was recently repainted as part of a $650,000 rehabilitation project on the campus of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The tank was repainted as part of its 100th anniversary and was last painted in 2005.

About the Project

The Lewisburg tank, built in 1922, is part of Pennsylvania American Water’s Milton water system, which provides water to more than 30,000 customers across 16 municipalities in Northumberland and Union counties. The structure originally had an open top, but changing regulations required a roof for health and safety reasons.

For the tank’s rehabilitation, the structure was repainted inside and outside following abrasive blasting with steel grit or a sand media Structural support evaluation and rehabilitation were also completed by contractor Nostos SS Contractors, LLC.

Ralph Wawrzyniakowski, Pennsylvania American Water Project Manager, said crews put on a prime coat, an intermediate coat and a finish coat. The outside received a thick coat of sky blue paint, with a Bucknell-style “B” in orange and navy blue on the campus side of the tanks. The interior was painted white.

“This project was a collaboration of Bucknell and Pennsylvania American Water, splitting the costs for the logo portion of the project. Our water tower presence needed a refresh – and with it being such a large, visible structure on campus, it was a welcome update,” said Jeff Loss, Bucknell University’s Associate Vice President for Facilities.

“We had an incredible opportunity to partner with Pennsylvania American Water to showcase our split B brand icon in a larger-than-life format, serving as a landmark that can be viewed from the Route 15 intersection and highway, the seats at Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium, and along the many paths to campus.”

Overall, the repainting project took about three months to complete. The paint system is reportedly expected to last 30 years before any additional work will need to be completed.

The project was one of 14 similar tank rehabilitation projects being completed by the company across Pennsylvania this year.

Following its completion, Pennsylvania America Water hosted a tour of the infrastructure improvement project, inviting more than 30 county, municipal and university officials to step inside the one-million-gallon capacity tank through the larger of the two hatches.

“Water from here gets pumped here from our Milton filter plant and fills this tank,” explained Laura Walter, Pennsylvania American Water Production Supervisor. “Then part of the system in the Lewisburg area gets fed by this tank by gravity. (The other) part of the water gets pumped over Route 15 to the west Lewisburg tank.”

Wawrzyniakowski said the final steps of the $650,000 paint job include disinfecting the tank, closing the hatches and filling it to an overflow level.

“Once that overflow is hit, we let it sit for 24 hours,” Wawrzyniakowski told the gathering. “Then we get a bacteria sample and a volatile organic carbon sample. Both of those are for the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). They require both those samples to come back at an acceptable level before we can put the tank back in service.”

“We take pride in continuously maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure that keeps our water and wastewater systems operating efficiently,” said Pennsylvania American Water Senior Superintendent of Operations Jeremy Resseguie.

“To do this, our engineering and operations teams work closely to conduct detailed inspections, identify potential areas for improvement, and put plans into action to make upgrades that allow us to continue serving our customers with affordable, high-quality, reliable service.”


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Colleges and Universities; Completed projects; NA; North America; Paint; Program/Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Water Tanks

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