Holts Summit water tower painting to be completed at end of next month

Work on sandblasting and painting of the Callaway County Water District No. 1 tower in Holts Summit is expected to be completed by Aug. 31.

Brad Scrivner, manager of Callaway County Water District No. 1, said the Indiana-based firm that won the bid for the $434,000 project started work in March.

During the sandblasting phase of the work to remove the old paint and mold, scaffolding was erected at the top of the tower with cables extending all around the tower. This enables work crews to raise and lower a protective tarpaulin enclosure around the entire tower.

When the wind increases or if a storm is expected, workmen can activate electronic controls to lower the protective tarpaulin encapsulation.

“They use air wenches to move the tarps up and down. In only a few minutes, they can have the tarps down and laying on the ground,” Scrivner said.

Scrivner said this poly tarpaulin extra protection was required to contain sand particles and mold and to prevent sand and mold dust from drifting down on nearby residences in Holts Summit.

“If the tower had been erected in a more remote area — or if the water district owned a wider area around the tower — it would not have been necessary to erect the canopy around the tower,” Scrivner said.

The tower was drained, cleaned and painted inside the water tank in work that started in March. Crews also did some welding fabrication and other work on the tower.

The winning low bid on the tower renovation project was Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors Inc., which is headquartered in Avon, Ind.

“Earlier, I thought they would have completed their work by now. But we have had a lot of wind and rain that has delayed work on the project,” Scrivner said.

Work on sandblasting tie rods and support legs of the tower was completed Thursday morning.

To make the work last about 10 years longer, Scrivner said he opted for using much more expensive paint that will last longer.

“They are using hydroflon paint to paint the tower,” Scrivner said.

The special paint was trademarked by Tnemec Co. Inc. It includes a paint class for corrosion inhibiting coatings for application to steel that comes into contact with water.

“The paint has a 25- to 30-year life. It’s slick and shiny. Mold won’t attach to it as well as other paint. My engineers have told me that if we power washed it after about 15 years, the surface would last from 25 to 30 years,” Scrivner said.

This hydroflon paint, Scrivner said, costs about $400 a gallon.

“Regular tower paint costs about $75 a gallon,” Scrivner said, “but this hydroflon paint basically adds about 10 to 15 years of life to the paint job.”

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