Clear Lake council approves engineering services agreement for east water tower near Interstate 35

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night approved an engineering services agreement with a Greenfield Wisconsin company for professional services for preparation of specifications, bidding services and contract documents for making improvements to the city’s east water tower near Interstate 35.

The one-million-gallon water tower was constructed in 2009 and was drained in September 2021 for a thorough inspection, which found that the water tower should have an exterior tank painting, an interior tank coating maintenance, and miscellaneous repairs to the water tower.

Dixon Engineering did that inspection and the firm’s Tim Wilson says the exterior of the tower will need extensive work.  “It’s an exterior full blast and recoat, which will require containment. If you are familiar with that, they basically install some arms and a shroud that is covering that area the whole time they are working inside of it to primarily control dust and make sure that coating does not leave the site in the wind. Towers are notorious for being high enough in the air that they are going to catch wind and that’s going to travel.”

Wilson says they are recommending a maintenance coating be placed on the inside of the tank.  “Your interior coating system is in fairly good shape. Our recommendation is the installation of a cathodic protection system to protect the steel that’s still there. There are very minimal failures. The installation of that cathodic system does require some welding in the wet interior of the tank which will burn coating obviously. There will be coating repairs associated with the installation of that equipment, but as far as the entire wet interior structure, no, we do believe you can get some additional life out of that without having to do a full blast and recoat of the wet interior too.”

The council approved the engineering services agreement with Dixon Engineering for an amount not to exceed $9925.  The proposed schedule calls for bidding the work this winter and for work to begin in April of next year.