OCWA–Central New York’s Water Authority–has recently embarked on a proactive maintenance initiative to perform exterior cleaning of nine water storage tanks. Recent inspections identified the need for  intermediate cleaning to address foreign debris and to allow for further inspection of the tanks.

The cleaning is being performed on the following storage tanks: 1) Old Westvale; 2) New Westvale; 3) Van Buren; 4) Tug Hill; 5) Abbey Road; 6) Sylvan Beach; 7) Volney Airport; 8) Volney (Seneca Hill); and 9) Granby.

The cleaning not only involves cosmetic improvements to the exterior surfaces resulting from the removal of foreign debris, surface oxidation and mildew, but it also helps preserve the approximate 20-year life expectancy of the paint coatings by using state and/or federal compliant cleaning agents and protectants.

A company that specializes in tank washing is performing this work by using an aerial lift to access the tank surfaces efficiently; no cable rigging/hanging is being used. A low volume sprayer is used to apply a pre-soak solution of oxygenated bleach with a soap surfactant. After soaking, the tanks are washed using low pressure washing equipment to avoid compromising the tank coatings.

After the tank surfaces are cleaned, the surfaces are treated with a mildew inhibitor to reduce the effects from the tank environment, seasonal changes, condensation and blowing debris.

This maintenance will prolong the life expectancy of the tank paint systems and allow for higher quality mandated inspections.  The work is expected to be completed by November.