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Columbus water tower gets makeover

 

The water tower near the Riverwalk is covered in canvas shrouds Saturday to prevent debris from descending on surrounding homes while Columbus Light and Water has the 2 million-gallon reservoir cleaned and painted.

The water tower near the Riverwalk is covered in canvas shrouds Saturday to prevent debris from descending on surrounding homes while Columbus Light and Water has the 2 million-gallon reservoir cleaned and painted. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

 

Workers begin the process of raising buckets of paint to the top of the 160-foot-tall water tower near the Riverwalk in this Feb. 24 photo. Columbus Light & Water, which owns the water tower, is having the 2 million-gallon reservoir cleaned and painted.

Workers begin the process of raising buckets of paint to the top of the 160-foot-tall water tower near the Riverwalk in this Feb. 24 photo. Columbus Light & Water, which owns the water tower, is having the 2 million-gallon reservoir cleaned and painted.
Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

 

Hal McClanahan

Hal McClanahan

 

Todd Gale

Todd Gale

 

 

Slim Smith

 

 

Hal McClanahan's neighbor to the north of his home on Second Street South has always been pretty quiet. 

 

That changed Saturday morning. 

 

The hum of compressors and the hiss of the sand blasters could be heard a couple of blocks away, but McClanahan is taking it all in stride. 

 

"I don't have any complaints," McClanahan said cheerfully as he stood in his driveway while the neighboring property received a makeover. 

 

The "neighbor" is the towering water tower between First and Second streets near the Riverwalk. 

 

Columbus Light and Water, which owns the water tower, is having the 2 million-gallon reservoir cleaned and painted. 

 

And this time, McClanahan said, CLW is thinking of the neighbors. 

 

The 160-foot tall structure is surrounded by canvas shrouds that prevent dust, debris and paint from descending on the neighboring properties. 

 

"The last time, they didn't have the shrouds," McClanahan said. "That was in 2005 or 2006, I think. The stuff went everywhere, all over cars and lawns. It took a long time for it to go away." 

 

Two weeks ago, Columbus Light and Water held a meeting with those who live near the tower. 

 

"We wanted to talk to everybody, tell them what they could expect and answer any questions they had," CLW Executive Director Todd Gale said. "It's a pretty big project, so we wanted to hear what they had to say." 

 

Preparations began about a week ago. By Saturday, the work had started in earnest. 

 

John Cunningham, the project engineer, said the tower will be cleaned and painted inside and out. 

 

"When you're a painting a water tower, the big concern you have is the wind," Cunningham said. "Even with the shrouds, you're worried about the over-spray it produces. When it's windy, they can work on the inside. They'll also be rolling on a lot of the paint." 

 

Although the project is on a 180-day contract, Cunningham said the work could be completed in a couple of months, if the weather is good. 

 

The tower will be painted the same light blue color, he said.  

 

Today, Gale said, a paint job on a water tower is good for 15 to 20 years. CLW will spend $650,000 for the work, with another $100,000 in reserve in the event there are any structural issues that need to be addressed as the work progresses. The tower is one of CLW's five water tanks/reservoirs with a combined capacity of seven million gallons, Gale said. 

 

"We still have plenty of water in storage," he said. "So this doesn't really have much of an impact on our operating capacity." 

 

Aside from the noise, McClanahan isn't complaining. 

 

"Give Todd credit," he said. "They brought everybody in the neighborhood in for a meeting and explained everything and listened to us," he said. "I think everybody was satisfied. They're doing it right this time."

 

Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]

 

 

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