Costly Water Tower Paint Job Pushed to Fall
The borough's estimated $1.3 million water tower paint job should start in early fall and be complete by the end of the year.
Re-painting Fair Lawn's rust-gathering water tower, the greatest single capital improvement expense in last year's budget, should begin this fall and be finished by the end of the year, manager Tom Metzler said.
The project, which had been budgeted for $1.3 million in 2012, didn't get underway last year, as had been planned, because the budget wasn't passed until July.
An engineering firm has already written up specifications for painting the tower and repairing any rotted areas or pinholes in the tank, and now it's only a matter of time before the project goes out for bid, Metzler said.
The tower, last painted 18 years ago, requires re-painting on both its interior and exterior every 15 or so years as a preventative maintenance measure to protect against the rusting and deterioration of the tower’s metal frame.
“The wall gets dirty, it starts to rust. If it starts to rust too much, it starts to deteriorate metal," borough engineer Ken Garrison explained last year. "Therefore it doesn’t last. So that’s why we protect the tanks. It’s really that simple.”
Although the tower will likely be draped for sandblasting in late summer, work on the tower won't begin until early fall because Garrison doesn't want to risk draining the tank during the summer months when water use is at its peak, Metzler said.
“God forbid we ever have a power failure where our wells went down," Metzler said. "It’s the head pressure from that tank that would maintain the pressure in the system, as well as the water the tank holds that would be utilized for the system.”
When asked last year, Garrison estimated the entire project, now slated to start in September, would take about four months, weather permitting.
The borough’s water department will need to perform some operational alterations during the re-painting process, but residents should not notice any difference in their water costs or water availability, Garrison said.
Water Tower Paint Job Budgeted at $1.3 Million - March 21, 2012