Ontario Water Tower Project Nearing Completion


A $3.2 million water tank renovation project in Ontario, Canada, is reaching its final stages, with the improvements anticipated to increase its functionality for the next 20 years or more.

The Wallaceburg Elevated Water Tower, also known as the Joseph Shaw tower, started its renovation in January of this year and involved the removal and replacement of the interior and exterior coatings, as well as other upgrades.

Project Background

Originally built in 1999, the 4.5-million-liter (about 1.2-million-gallon) water tank is reportedly a major component of the Wallaceburg water supply and distribution system. It is operated by the Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission and provides water storage for the community of Wallaceburg.

At the beginning of the year, crews from BGL Contractors Corp. (Waterloo, Ontario) began work on the project with the complete removal and replacement of the interior and exterior coatings. Engineering and inspection services for the project were provided by CIMA Engineering.

Martin Lukasiewicz, Senior Project Manager with CIMA, told The Wallaceburg Courier Press that water towers usually need rehabilitation roughly every 20 years.

“I’m sure residents have seen how the exterior was aging. It wasn’t really looking as pretty as it does now,” he said.

“The scaffolding is really part of the replacement of the exterior coating system to make sure that we can actually do the work. The steel gets blasted, all the coatings get blasted off and the new liners and the coatings are applied by spray and roller.”

Additionally, project renovations included:

  • The installation of a hydro-dynamic mixing system inside the tank to improve water age and chlorine residuals;
  • Installation of accessory upgrades including new antenna supports;
  • Upgrades to the lighting system;
  • Minor upgrades to the process mechanical equipment within the base of the structure;
  • Installation of additional health and safety features; and
  • A code-compliant guardrail system on the tank roof.

The fresh paint job was unveiled at a news conference on Sept. 16 at the PUC Pump Station. The scaffolding surrounding the tower is also almost ready to come down, officials from the PUC said.

Carmen McGregor, chairperson of the commission and Wallaceburg councillor, said she looks forward to seeing the tower once the scaffolding and tarps are down.

“Having a tower in a community is something that we all look for when we’re travelling, when we’re moving and going to a community,” she said. “You realize you’re there or you realize you’re home when you see the water tower.”

Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission General Manager, Tim Sunderland, said this is the fifth tank that has been rehabilitated in the last 10 years. Previously, work has been completed on towers in Chatham, Blenheim, Dresden and Pain Court.

All the towers will reportedly have the same look and logo, providing a “fresh, yet standard” look to each water tower in the area.

“No matter where you go in Chatham-Kent, we want the look of the water tower to be similar and comfortable to everyone, but the individual community has its name on the side of the tower,” Sunderland said.

The PUC said it has five more towers to complete, moving to Mitchell’s Bay next. Sunderland told reporters they’ll complete a water tower roughly every two years.

“Once we complete our 10 water towers, it looks like we’re back to square one again if it’s needed,” he said.

The completed work on the Wallaceburg tank is expected to increase the reliability of the tank, as well as its functionality, for the next 20 years or more.


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Coatings; Linings; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Program/Project Management; Quality Control; Rehabilitation/Repair; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Water Tanks

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