A large industrial vacuum sits outside the temporary entrance of the ground storage reservoir as crews work inside the emptied five and a half million gallon tank. The rehabilitation of the steel structure is taking place at the East Water Treatment Plant.
"Today we're sandblasting the old coating off, blowing down, making sure the preparation is up to par with the specification and then we're applying a zinc-rich primer," said Brian Minkler, who owns Elevation Coating and is the project manager.
The rehab work inside the ground storage reservoir will include 25 foot high side walls along with a steel floor. Each day, the contractor can cover about 2,500 square feet.
"So we're painting every day to eliminate the open steel that we open up, blasting, from rusting, flash-rusting so we paint it each day, Minkler said. “And then we get a really good prep steel with a coating on it immediately.”
Once they're done inside the tank, they'll move on to the exterior.
"Once we get to the outside, it's going to be a little noisier and we're not using containment tarps. That's where we employ the wet-blast system. It's a dust abatement process, which keeps dust way down."
This summer's drought has caused a high demand for water. Under normal conditions, this ground storage reservoir would help pump out around six million gallons of water per day. The water department had to turn on alternate wells to help with demand. Because of this, some residents may see some brown water - that discoloration is harmless and temporary. City officials suggest flushing it out for a minute or two, and it should clean up.
"Once we’re primed on the inside things will go quick, that's the main hurdle," said Minkler.
The work on the east reservoir ground storage tank should wrap up by mid-October.