Town Considers Water Tower Maintenance Plan

The community of Crothersville’s 300,000 gallon water tower is in need of maintenance both outside and in.
The high tank which provides water pressure to town water utility customers was originally constructed in 2002 and replaced the town’s original 55,000 gallon constructed in 1928.
“The town currently has a company that cleans the inside of the tank every five years, but interior maintenance requires more than just cleaning the inside,” water utility superintendent Chris Mains told the town council last Tuesday.
Mark Hansen of SUEZ North America attended the meeting to explain a water tank maintenance program his company provides.
“It should be obvious to everyone that the outside of the tank needs painting,” said Hansen. “ There is mildew on portion of the bottom of the tank. Paint is flaking and fading. There is graffiti on the tank legs.”
“But more importantly than an outside appearance is the quality of the interior of your tank holding your drinking water,” he said.
He provided the council with photos of the interior of the local tank showing paint peeling and weld joints beginning to rust.
“Your tank had good paint applied when it was built but now it is worn,” said Hansen.
Hansen said SUEZ North American is more than a tank cleaning & painting company. “We provide ongoing preventive maintenance of both the interior and exterior of your water tank,” he said.
“Cost estimates to just paint the exterior of the tank range from $150,000 to $170,000,” said Mains. “ They paint and they leave but SUEZ’s preventive maintenance plan offers more and with a warranty”
Hansen explained that SUEZ doesn’t clean and paint and walk away. The company performs maintenance but if there is need for a call back they make the needed repairs at no charge. “For as long as you are under our contract,” he said
Hansen said for Crothersville, the total tank maintenance program would cost $51,000 annually for the first five years and then $20,000 per year after that.
“Considering that the cost to replace our watertower is over $1.25 million, this plan will keep the current tower functioning for decades to come,” said Mains.
SUEZ has over 100 tanks under contract in Indiana, Hansen said, including water tanks in Medora and Vernon.
Brad Bender of FPBH of North Vernon, the town’s engineering firm, said, “ A preventive maintenance contract is the route that most communities are taking.”
“We have talked with three other communities and they have had nothing but good things to say about SUEZ,” said Mains.
“I like the fact that we know just what we will be paying each year,” said councilwoman Danieta Foster.
“I think this is something we need,” said council president Lenvel ‘Butch’ Robinson suggesting that the council place the matter on its May agenda for action.