Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle


Water tower to get new paint, look

by Nathan Arneal
Published 11/10/21

North Bend’s water tower, built in 2005, is due for some upkeep. Jake Dugger of Maguire Iron presented the North Bend City Council options and a maintenance proposal at its Nov. 2 meeting.

Dugger said the 16-year-old tower is right on schedule for how long protective coatings on water towers typically last.

“The tower is fine,” he said, “but the coating is starting to fade and wear away to where we need to pressure wash it, and if there’s any bad areas we spot prime those areas and do a new full finish coat on top.”

Dugger had also climbed into the tower to give it a full inspection, finding a few areas where minor maintenance is needed.

He presented the council with an option to install a small motor that mixes and circulates the water in the tower. He said since the water in the tower fills and empties from the bottom, the unused top layer of water can become stagnant.

A mixer would also prevent freezing in the winter, which could damage the lining.
Dugger recommended that the council: overcoat and paint the outside, remove the coating and reline the interior wet area of the tank and touch up the dry area, with an option of a mixing system.

The tower can last forever, Dugger said. It’s just the protective coating that needs to be replaced every 10-15 years.

“If you continue to recoat that,” he said, “it will continue to perform its designed function for the town of North Bend forever. To replace this tower today would be over a million dollars. A lot of times it’s the most expensive asset a city owns.”

Dugger estimated that repainting the inside and outside of the tank would cost $140,000. The mixer is about $15,000, installed.

He also presented the option of a annual maintenance program that costs about $12,000 annually. That money would go toward the next time the tower needed to be repainted in 10-12 years. It would also cover any maintenance required in the meantime and come with annual inspections.

“I like the maintenance agreement,” councilman Dan Minarick said, “just from the standpoint that we’re going to be able to spot problems earlier on.”

Councilman Ken Streff said the city should get the mixing system as well.

“We have to improve the water quality any way we can do it,” Streff said.

The council also decided to paint the tower different colors. A black color on the bottom portion of the bulb would hide the mold and mildew that builds up on the bottom outside of the tank. The top third of the tank would be painted orange with the name North Bend in orange and black. The name would also be oriented so it faces the Highway 30 expressway north of town.

City clerk Theresa Busse said the timing is perfect because the city will be receiving American Rescue Plan Act funds from the federal government totaling $224,000.

The council approved the maintenance plan and installing the water mixing system.

Dugger said work would likely begin in the spring.

In other city business:

• An estimate from JEO Consulting was received for designing a small chemical storage building at the pool for $10,800. Council members thought that was a lot considering they thought the structure could be built for less than that. Councilman Bart Bosco said the city should look at a non-corrosive stainless steel boiler that would negate the need for the new room.
The council decided to table JEO’s proposal.


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