Goldsboro water tower work

A containment curtain is drawn around the water tower at the corner of Center and Holly streets as workers sandblast the exoskeleton in preparation for painting.

Workers hung a huge containment curtain from the water tower on the corner of Center and Holly streets Tuesday as part of the upgrade it is getting.

Utility Services Co. of Perry, Georgia, the low bidder awarded the $1.04 million contract to paint the water tower, started work on it in May. The company also painted the Harris Street water tower and the water tower at Madison Avenue and Holly Street.

Marty Anderson, Goldsboro city engineer, said over the years the water towers began rusting and had to be repainted.

After hanging cables for the containment curtain in May, the workers sandblasted the inside of the 1-million-gallon water tank down to bare metal before raising the containment curtain. The workers are now sandblasting the paint from the outside structure behind the curtain.

Workers hung lines and guides to raise the curtain early in the process. Raising the curtain had to wait until workers could sandblast the outside of the tank and structure to contain any lead that might be in the old paint, Anderson said.

The contractor has to follow federal regulations during the containment, removal and disposal of lead paint, Anderson said.

Before the work could begin, the city had to take the water tank off line.

“That has not been a problem,” Anderson said. “We have three other tanks. So far it has not been an issue.”

Anderson said in May it would not be a problem for water customers when the work began.

All of the water towers in the city are integrated into the city’s water distribution system. Single water towers are not responsible for one certain district. Also, the city’s water plant has 1 million gallons of water in storage, Anderson said.

The last thing the contractor will do is replace the pinnacle (or spire on top of the water tank) that is lit up at Christmas. It had become so rusted it was about to fall off.

Anderson said the old pinnacle that is just for decoration has to be ready with flanges welded to the bottom of it and on the water tank so it can be bolted on.

The entire structure will be repainted the same color it was, a “tear drop blue,” Anderson said.

Utility Services is contracting with Shane Zoccole, a paint specialist, for about $35,000 to oversee different processes during the project to make sure it is being done right, Anderson said.

Completion is expected by Oct. 11.