The municipal water tank serving the City of Newton stands in close visual proximity to one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas Art,” so when it came to the tank’s exterior design, its little wonder project engineers specified a high-performance coating system from Tnemec. “This was a new tank that replaced a standpipe built in 1905,” Tnemec coating consultant Rick Penner said. “Working with nationally acclaimed artist Phil Epp, the city negotiated a permanent reproduction of his nearby signature work, Blue Sky Sculpture, for use on the water tank. After an approximate scaled model of the new tank was used to lay out the artwork, Epp and the project engineer matched Tnemec colors to recreate the artist’s original desired effect.”
Both interior and exterior steel were primed with Series 91-H2O Hydro-Zinc, a zinc-rich urethane. After the tank was erected at ground level, the interior received two coats of Series N140 Pota-Pox Plus, a polyamidoamine epoxy that is also certified in accordance with NSF/ANSI Std. 61.
While the tank was still on the ground, exterior steel received a roller-applied intermediate coat of Series 73 Endura-Shield, an acrylic polyurethane, followed by a finish coat of Series 700 HydroFlon, an advanced fluoropolymer topcoat that offers outstanding long-term gloss and color retention. HydroFlon is also highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) light degradation, abrasion and chalking. “HydroFlon was specified to ensure the longest lasting coating system possible,” Penner observed. “When you have a decorative tank like this, you want it to last as long as possible. The life of the water tank mural will be extended by at least 10 years because it has been coated with HydroFlon.”
Approximately 420 gallons of the various coatings were required to complete the project, which was chosen as Tnemec’s 2010 Tank of the Year. The design featured a selection of colors including Tnemec’s 20BL Splash, 15BL Tank White, 21BL K.C. Blue, 71BL Horizon Blue, 10BL Cornflower, 35GR Black and 24GR Lightpole.
The color selection matches Epp’s Blue Sky Sculpture, a 20 by 30 foot sculpture covered in glazed tiles that interact with the Kansas sky, changing its colors when viewed from different angles or at different times of the day. In 2008, Blue Sky Sculpture was named one of the “8 Wonders of Kansas Art” by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The City of Newton has also used the blue sky motif on signage in its parks, tourist attractions and points of interest.