CLEVELAND – The intricate, colorful restoration of a long-standing elevated water tank serving the city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earned the city and project team the 2019 Sherwin-Williams Impact Award. The award-winning team includes professional service and contracting firm SUEZ Advanced Solutions; coatings inspection provider OmniTech, LLC; engineering firm Hazen and Sawyer; and the City of Fort Lauderdale. The award honors extraordinary projects featuring coating and lining materials from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine. The company announced the award winners during the Water Environment Federation’s 2019 WEFTEC Conference, held Sept. 21-25, 2019, in Chicago.

The runner-up project for the award involved the restoration of a more than 110-year-old standpipe serving New Jersey’s Haddon Heights Township. The team included owner New Jersey American Water (NJAW); coatings contractor Titan Industrial Services, Inc.; professional engineering services provider Tank Industry Consultants; and coatings inspection firm B&N Inspection and Supply.

The honorable mention project entailed the restoration of a 2.5-million-gallon tank serving the Westwood neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. The project team included coatings applicator United Coatings & Linings Inc. (UCL); coatings inspection firm Dixon Engineering Inc.; and Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW).

“Ensuring the proper care and upkeep of critical water and wastewater infrastructure is vital to the livelihood of local communities. Without dedicated contractors, engineers and asset owners focused on protecting these assets, communities could face unreliable water service and significant worries,” said Murray Heywood, North America Market Manager, Water & Wastewater, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine. “That’s why we established the Sherwin-Williams Impact Award – to honor demanding water and wastewater projects, and recognize those professionals committed to protecting assets and enhancing public safety. Their charge is our charge – extend asset lives and reduce downtime to ensure safe, reliable service.”

First Place: Intricate, Multicolored Water Tower Design Showcases Fort Lauderdale Community

Restoration of the 160-foot-tall, one-million-gallon elevated water storage tank serving Fort Lauderdale nearly did not happen. The city had planned to demolish the almost 70-year-old fixture of the downtown skyline until the local community lobbied for its refurbishment instead. As a result, SUEZ completed a yearlong, $1.9-million restoration of the structure’s interior and exterior, which now welcomes city residents and visitors with an intricate, 11-color design fitting of the picturesque southeast Florida community.

The tank restoration project included replacing ladders and railings, making structural repairs, and recoating the tank inside and out. A crew from SUEZ started the tower restoration by cleaning, sandblasting and coating the tank’s complete interior. They applied two full coats of Sherwin-Williams Macropoxy® 646 PW epoxy with a stripe coat sprayed in-between to all sharp edges, corners and welds to ensure a high film build on these areas for long-term corrosion protection.

For the tank’s exterior restoration, SUEZ installed a full containment tent to encapsulate the tower, and protect nearby structures and vehicles from dust and overspray during blasting and coating operations. Starting with the tank’s legs and underside before moving to the top, the SUEZ crew blasted and coated the entire exterior. They first applied primer and stripe coats of Sherwin-Williams Corothane® I – GalvaPac 1K zinc primer. The moisture-curing primer gave the crew flexibility for the applications, enabling applicators to spray the coating even during very humid conditions. Next, the crew applied an intermediate coat of Sherwin-Williams Acrolon™ 218 HS acrylic polyurethane, a fast-drying coating that delivers excellent color and gloss retention for exterior exposures.

For the decorative topcoat application, Jim Kelly, owner of Industrial and Commercial Signs, drew and painted the tank’s intricate, 11-color geometric design on the tower’s top, underside, legs and riser by hand. He also added a slogan touting the “All-America City – Fort Lauderdale” on four sides of the tank. Kelly and a small crew then rolled and brushed the different colored areas using Sherwin-Williams Fluorokem™ HS fluoropolymer urethane. The high-gloss, ultra-durable coating provides unparalleled color and gloss performance, helping the tower maintain excellent long-term aesthetics for its various shades of orange, pink, yellow, gray, white, blue and green. Artist Peter Symons designed the unique pattern.

“The project team worked tirelessly on the tank restoration to bring this city landmark back to its rightful state as a welcoming – and now iconic – community billboard,” said Heywood. “The efforts of the entire team ensured a successful rehabilitation that will maintain potable water service and superior aesthetics over the long term.”

Runner-Up: Century-Old Water Tank Stands the Test of Time

Operated by NJAW, the more than 110-year-old standpipe serving Haddon Heights Township required restoration inside and outside. Starting in September 2018, coatings contractor Titan Industrial Services Inc. faced a tight deadline to complete restoration of the 63,000-gallon tank before the frigid New Jersey winter set in.

To ensure applicators could apply coatings during the cool, wet fall season, Titan Industrial Services set up a full containment system with dehumidification equipment. In addition, the team specified a variety of Sherwin-Williams coatings with fast-curing and low-temperature application properties that enabled successful applications even as favorable weather conditions diminished. For the tank’s interior lining, applicators applied a primer coat of Sherwin-Williams Macropoxy® 5500LT followed by a high-build coat of Poly-Cote™ 115, a fast-drying lining system from Sherwin-Williams that helped the crew stay on schedule. For the exterior, the crew applied three additional Sherwin-Williams coatings. They first applied a primer coat of Corothane I – GalvaPac 1K zinc primer, which enables low-temperature applications down to 20 °F (-7 °C), and also features moisture-curing properties. Next, applicators sprayed a full coat of Acrolon™ 218 HS acrylic polyurethane on all exterior surfaces, followed by a complete topcoat of high-gloss Fluorokem™ HS fluoropolymer urethane.

Honorable Mention: Cincinnati’s First Water Tower with a Logo Makes History

Following the restoration of a 2.5-million-gallon tank serving Cincinnati’s largest neighborhood, the refreshed 118.5-foot-tall, 105-foot-diameter tank now features colorful striping and the Westwood community name, officially welcoming visitors to the neighborhood. The adornment and logo are a first for Cincinnati, which previously did not have any water tanks with logos within city limits.

Coatings applicator UCL blasted and coated the tank’s full exterior, as well as its dry interior spaces. Following blasting, UCL applicators first spray-applied a single coat of Corothane I – GalvaPac 1K zinc primer. For the intermediate coat, UCL applied Sherwin-Williams Macropoxy 646-100 fast cure epoxy – a choice made to help accelerate the project during the cool fall and early winter months, enabling sufficient time before the weather turned too cold to apply the urethane topcoat. For the topcoat, the team chose Sherwin-Williams Fluorokem HS, an ultra-durable, ambient-cured, high-solids fluoropolymer urethane finish, for the topcoat. The coating delivers exceptional color and gloss retention and can withstand severe exposures, making it ideal for the tower’s final finish, as well as the blue and gold stripe pattern and Westwood community name adorned on the tower.

The Sherwin-Williams Impact Award program recognizes application contractors, specifiers and owners for excellence on North American water and wastewater projects that have a compelling effect on the industry with regard to public safety, asset protection and infrastructure life cycle improvement. Eligible projects included any water-related structure that was new, restored and/or rehabilitated in 2018 and was completed using coating and lining materials from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine.