Tanks, we really needed that

By Andy Sevilla

The first of several water reservoir rehabilitation projects in Kyle sailed smoothly to completion two years after an audit found dire repairs were needed.

A 2012 system-wide water tank inspection identified problems in several storage tanks ranging from minor paint coating failures to excessive rusting and structural damage, according to a presentation by Kyle Utility Coordinator Jason Biemer.

Biemer said that while the deficiencies did not compromise the safety of the water or its quality, the needed repairs represented an asset value loss. If left unrepaired, he said the damages could lead to extensive capital outlay.

Earlier this year council members approved $1.866 million in short-term debt to rehabilitate the city’s water tanks, purchase vehicles for three city departments, and acquire other equipment and system software.

The 2012 inspection estimated the costs to repair damage at several Kyle water tanks at about $450,000. 

Included in the 2014 tax notes also were a water and wastewater modeling system, each expected to cost about $150,000.

According to the water tank inspection, the Rebel Road water station had considerable rusting and staining in the interior of the water tanks, as well as some paint failures, which were contributing to metal failure.

The station had a paint system that exceeded its expected lifetime by a few years. The materials used in the original painting had an anticipated lifespan of 10-15 years; the coating, however, was 18 years old, Biemer said. The exterior paint of the water tanks was chalked, but not yet failing like on the inside.

Interior blasting of both tanks at the Rebel Road station revealed metal damage in each tank, with the second tank being in much worse condition, Biemer said.

Along with damage to the venting structure and doorway, extensive damage to the floor surfaced. Ultimately, both tanks underwent repair to metal and paint. Biemer said new hatches were also added to each tank, venting structures were upgraded and safety systems brought up to industrial standard.

Steel patches also were welded to the floor where needed to completely seal any holes or damaged sections, returning the tank to a watertight structure. Each tank had isolation valves replaced where needed.

Neptune-Wilkinson Associates (NWA) was tapped for the engineering, and subsequently developed repair specifications, which would be carried out by Tri-State Coatings of Wadena, MN.

Tri-State Coatings was the lowest bidder with $135,600. Eleven other bids ranged up to $358,140.

Both water tanks at the Rebel Road water station are now up and running, with a final contract cost of $122,600 after some cost saving measures were implemented during repairs. 

Biemer said the paint coat on each tank should last for 15 years or more with minor maintenance as needed. 

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