The Tank of the Year contest, a national water storage tank competition, presented by Tnemec Co. Inc., has concluded, and this year's winner is the City of Cocoa, FL. The 156-foot-tall tower features artwork of three American flags, representing the patriotism found in this community located on Florida's east coast in proximity to the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

"The 1.5-million gallon tank was built in 1957 to supply drinking water to NASA's growing space program," said Doug Hansen, Director - Water Tank Market for Tnemec. "The water tower became a community landmark after Old Glory was painted on the tank in 1976 to commemorate the nation's Bicentennial. Tnemec is proud to have its coatings associated with this iconic project for so many years."

This tank was among the top 12 finalists in public voting during the 2015 competition. Other cities with top-voted tanks for 2015 were: Plant City, FL; Cedarville, OH; Nobleton, Ontario; Lebanon, MO; Zebulon, NC; North Newton, KS; Amboy, IL; Oak Grove, MO; Chesterfield, VA; Carrollton, TX; and Mont Belvieu, TX.

The winners were selected from a field of more than 200 water tanks nominated for the Tank of the Year competition. In an online ballot, the public cast a total of 20,703 votes.

The City of Cocoa water tower was chosen by a panel of water tank enthusiasts based on its artistic value, significance to the community and challenges encountered during the project.

Standing near the intersection of U.S. 1 and State Road 520, the legged water tower has retained its patriotic theme over the past 40 years using various protective coating systems. Originally painted with an old-fashioned silver alkyd coating, the tank required a total renovation in 1991 to remove corrosion caused by Florida's salty, coastal environment. An aliphatic acrylic polyurethane finish coat from Tnemec was specified for that project and again in 2003 when recoating was required.

The tank was recoated last year using Tnemec's advanced fluoropolymer coating system, which provides unsurpassed color and gloss retention. The project involved high-pressure washing and sandblasting the exterior down to bare metal under total containment prior to being recoated.

"This is the tenth anniversary of our Tank of the Year competition, which recognizes municipalities for their aesthetic, creative and innovative uses of exterior coatings on water storage tank projects," Hansen added. "We are thrilled with how the contest has grown year after year due to individual communities supporting their local water tanks."

The Tank of the Year will be featured on the cover and month of January in Tnemec's 2016 water tank calendar. All runner-ups and nominations will be included in the following months of the calendar. Nomination for next year's competition will open in March 2016.