Solving Challenges One Project at a Time

pickering plantBy Tex Enoch, Induron Sales Rep

Some projects move right along and stay on course from the beginning with little or no challenge. This is a good thing, but what’s the fun in that? One project we did a few years ago proved to be an opportunity for forward thinking and innovation in the midst of complexities.

When I.K. Stoltzfus was hired to repaint a wash water tank and a two million-gallon clearwell for Aqua Pennsylvania at their Pickering treatment facility, they contacted Induron for the tools for the job. The Pickering Water Treatment Plant services approximately 1 million customers in Southeast Pennsylvania and produces more than 55 million gallons of treated water daily. It is a critical component to the area served by Aqua PA. For this reason, the project was scheduled to be done between October 1 and June 15 when demand for water would be at its lowest.

The First Challenge: Structural Damage

We painted the 300,000-gallon elevated wash water tank first without any problems. However, when we moved on to the 2-million-gallon clearwell, a steel ground water storage tank that is ¾ below grade, we discovered extensive structural damage. What to do? Paint the whole thing! This required excavating around the exterior shell and repainting the entire exterior, which in turn changed the products we planned to use. We turned to Induron’s Permaclean 100 – the only product of its kind – as the exterior primer on the shell, both above and below grade, because:

  • It could be applied in cold weather (35°F).
  • It could be applied at very high dry film thicknesses (25 mils minimum).
  • It could be applied at that film thickness in a single coat.
  • Because of its innovative ceramic bead content, Permaclean 100 also has outstanding abrasion resistance and would successfully withstand the backfilling operation.
  • It has zero VOCs and HAPs content and has NSF approval up to 50 mils DFT.
  • It was already being used as the finish coat on the interior of the tank.
  • It would also accept the epoxy and urethane finish coats on the above grade portion of the shell.

The Second Challenge: Old Man Winter

We excavated the area around the exterior in 80-foot increments, which was critical, because pipes had to be supported during the excavation process. The winter months had now arrived and these exterior areas also needed to be sheltered and heated.  The solution? I.K. Stoltzfus constructed an insulated moveable containment structure, and despite the inclement weather, excavation around the tank was completed. We successfully applied the Permaclean 100, even in the cold weather and even while repairs were being done.

The cold temperatures and four ice and snow storms in Philadelphia were making it difficult to complete structural repairs inside the tank so that it could be painted. The solution there? We repainted the roof of the tank to a dark brown, allowing it to capture as much of the sun’s heat as possible to create a workable interior temperature.

Despite the challenges of this project, with a little ingenuity, we were able to complete it on time to get the tank back into service. At Induron, we love working with other organizations, and we love a challenge!

Leave a Reply