KY Water Tower Project Nears Completion


Work on a water tower painting project in Owensboro, Kentucky, is expected to soon be completed, including a new logo designed to celebrate the city’s bluegrass history.

Project Background

One of four water tanks located in Owensboro, the Frederica Street Tank holds 1,000,000 gallons of water. Overall, Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU) provides water to more than 100,000 residents and businesses in the city and surrounding area.

The tank had last been painted in 2004, with an inspection of the tank in 2016 and mechanical repairs made in 2019. It was reportedly last pressure washed in 2020.

In June, work began to clean and repaint the OMU water tower located off of Frederica Street. Work would include blasting the tank’s interior, as well as repainting the interior and exterior.

“Decorative painting,” including new logos on the tank, were also planned for the project. At the time, the project was anticipated to cost roughly $900,000.

“Obviously, the tanks are a critical part of the water delivery system,” said Sonya Dixon, OMU’s public relations and communications manager. “It’s important to keep them in the best operating condition that ensures a safe and reliable water supply.”

A new logo was approved by the Board of Commissioners in August. The design featured a banjo that serves as the first letter of Owensboro, with the tagline “Bluegrass Music Capital of the World” below the name of the city. The new logo will be painted on the south side, with the OMU logo on the other side.

“We were contacted by the mayor and the Bluegrass Task Force that the mayor’s put together, and they asked us to consider highlighting the community’s rich bluegrass history with that logo,” OMU General Manager Tim Lyons said at the time.

The original plan was to refresh the current logo, with the city name and two wavy lines like a river over top of the letters, which would have cost $16,415, according to reports. Because of the design’s details, the new logo was anticipated to cost $22,265.

That same month, OMU Director of Production Brad Howton said the wet interior and dry interior portions of the tower were completed and all that was left was the exterior’s blasting and prime coat application.

Additionally, OMU reported that the project was “significantly” under budget after they “drastically overestimated” how much it would cost. Howton also said the bidding process was more competitive than OMU officials anticipated.

The contract had been awarded to Tank Pro Inc. Even with the new city logo, the newly anticipated cost fell at $389,825.

However, in September, it was revealed that the updated logo design had changed once again, featuring he word Owensboro, with a backwards treble clef serving as a capital “S” and with an 8-string headstock as the top of the “b.” The tagline remained the same.

Dixon said the decision came after the Bluegrass Initiative Task Force changed their pitch after seeing different designs from the community.

“They came up with something that was a blend of a lot of ideas that were put out there. We’re certainly very appreciative to that creative team for doing very good,” Dixon said.

Work was still ongoing, with the crews completing remaining tasks and needing to account for the logo on the opposite side of the tank.

At the end of last month, OMU reported that water tank work was nearly complete, with plans to go back online in the coming weeks.

“This project has actually gone very, very well,” Dixon said. “We anticipate that they will be disinfecting the tank on Monday, and we will begin filling it next week and getting back into service.”

Recent Water Tower Project

Starting last month, the Forest Street Water Tower in Methuen, Massachusetts, will be out of service for the next seven month as it undergoes a $3.6 million renovation project. The water tower will see upgrades to ladder systems and entrances, a roof venting system and coatings work, among other repairs.

Water Department officials reportedly determined that the tower was “starting to show its age,” particularly when last year the annual Water Quality Report found that “the outside protective coatings are failing and the inside is also starting to break down.”

According to reports, the tower has been a Methuen landmark since it was constructed in the early 1970s and provides service to homes in the city’s West End. The structure stands at 100 feet tall and more than 80 feet wide, with a capacity of 3.8 million gallons.

Daryl Laurenza, Superintendent of Water Distribution, said that the structure will be brought up to meet or exceed 2022 OSHA safety standards. This includes upgrades to the ladder system, improved entrances ways, upgrading the tank’s roof-venting system and installing a new internal water-quality mixing system.

Additionally, a large “M” will be painted on the side of the tower, which will reportedly be visible to drivers entering the city on I-93 North.

The contractor for the project is Atlas Painting and Sheeting Corporation of Amherst, New York. The $3.6 million project is funded by the city’s Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal 2023.

The water tank is expected to be offline through the first week of May 2023. The project is under “strict timelines” due to the Forest Street Water Tank being a “very important part” of the water distribution system, particularly before summer when water usage almost doubles, Laurenza said.


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Color + Design; Contracts; Design; Government contracts; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Painting Contractors; Program/Project Management; Rehabilitation/Repair; Tank exteriors; Tank interiors; Tanks; Tanks; Water Tanks

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