Okaloosa County Elevated Water Tank

Appreciation of Florida’s Emerald Coast reached new heights when a 500,000-gallon pedestal water tank on Okaloosa Island was refurbished with a mural representing the area’s Appalachian quartz sand beaches and featuring an advanced fluoropolymer coating system from Tnemec.

“The mural depicting a coastal beach scene along Florida’s Emerald Coast is intended to promote the area’s tourism industry, which was threatened in 2010 by the Gulf oil spill,” according to Robert Crumbaugh of SteelCon Coating Systems. “Local efforts by the beach community were successful in protecting the beaches from pollution caused by the oil spill.”

The project was a mutually beneficial agreement between the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Commission (TDC), which paid for the mural, and the Okaloosa County Water & Sewer System that received a corrosion resistant coating system for the tank at no cost to ratepayers.

The tank’s exterior base coating system was applied by Ohio-based American Suncraft Construction Company and mural artist, Eric Henn, with engineering services provided by Polyengineering, Inc., of Shalimar, Florida. The same engineering firm and applicator teamed up for two other Emerald Coast projects involving 200,000-gallon towers depicting other variations of the TDC logo.

Exterior steel was prepared in accordance with SSPC-SP 2 Hand Tool Cleaning and SPC-SP3 Power Tool Cleaning and primed with Series 135 Chembuild, a modified polyamidoamine epoxy for marginally prepared steel and tightly adhering old coatings. Series 73 Endura-Shield, an aliphatic acrylic polyurethane, was the intermediate coat, followed by a finish coat of Series 700 HydroFlon, an advanced fluoropolymer that offers outstanding resistance to ultraviolet (UV) light for unprecedented long-term gloss and color retention. The project did not require replacement of the existing Tnemec coating system on the tank’s interior, which was in sound condition.

HydroFlon was also used for the lettering and the mural, which required 14 different colors ranging from white, to different shades of blues and greens. “The colorful mural was painted freehand using brushes and rollers,” according to Crumbaugh. “I recall seeing the original artwork and thinking to myself that there is no way they could reproduce that design, but the painters did a wonderful job.” Due to the complexity of the mural and the necessity of painting from a 140 lift, the project was completed without the use of containment, despite the tank’s location immediately adjacent to a busy boat dealership and marina.

Nearly 150 gallons of the exterior coatings were required to complete the project, which was voted Tnemec’s 2012 Tank of the Year based on its aesthetic, creative and innovative uses of a coating system. The project was selected from more than 200 tanks that were nominated for the contest.

    Project Information

    Okaloosa Island, FL

    June 2002

    Okaloosa County, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

    Polyengineering Shalimar, Florida

    Field Applicator
    American Suncraft, Medway, Ohio

    Mural Painter
    Eric Henn Murals, Franklin, Ohio

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