Pittsburgh Area Water Tank Repaint: Getting Business Done the Old-Fashioned Way

By: George Shannon, Induron Sales Representative

In this fast-paced world of information overload on the internet, everybody is looking for instant answers, new technology, and conducting business without the relationship between vendors, owners, and contractors. Interested in a new product with the latest technology? Look it up on the internet. Download the information and write the specification. No sales person necessary. Need someone in the region to apply the technology? Put out a spec and invite bidders without pedigree.

Well, sometimes the good, old-fashioned way of doing business is the easiest method to obtain critical data from quality manufacturers, get the specification written and find the most qualified applicators.

Aqua Pennsylvania, formerly Philadelphia Suburban, did just that in getting three tanks painted in Mercer County, PA. Induron’s Eastern Pennsylvania sales representative, Tex Enoch, has been in the water tank coating business since 1969. Philadelphia Suburban was his first sales call, and today, 48 years later, Tex’s relationship and customer service is their preferred method of doing business.

This year marks Aqua’s 130th year of providing water service to communities in need. Since 1886, they have done just that at a very high level. Yep, these two old pros know what it takes to get it done right. And they should after 48 years of working together.

As good as this relationship is, they can’t do it without a qualified installer and a superior coating system. I was asked to visit the job sites to ensure that everything was going well and the contractor and owner were happy. I have been in the coating business for 48 years and spent many days visiting these sites and climbing the tanks. My objective on this particular visit was to say hello to ‘Big Joe’ and make sure he had everything he needed to get the job done. It turns out ‘Big Joe’s’ company, LC United, has been painting tanks for nearly 40 years.

I hit it off right away with Big Joe. We talked about mutual friends that are no longer around, and maybe we connected quickly because we both remember the way it used to be. We talked about the old days of applying 4-coat vinyl with 85% VOC’s and 2-3 coats of epoxy at 10-12 mils dry. Big Joe didn’t like the vinyls, but he still likes the 3-coat epoxy system. “Easy to blast off in 15 years,” he said. But, “Hey George, this 100% solids Induron product is really good. Sprays smooth and hangs well.”

So, in the end, the three tanks were completed and everybody is happy. No internet research, a controlled bid list for QA, and a coating system that is technically sound and easy to apply.

So, here we have an owner/operator that has been in the business for 130 years, a sales representative for 48 years, a painting contractor for 37 years, and a third-generation coating manufacturer that has been making paint since 1947. Each business partner on this project represents stability, integrity and reliability.

It might be the old-fashioned way, but it was sure fun to be a small part of it. Everybody ought to try it!

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