Ladish Water Tower

Pleasant Prairie, WI

Project Overview

Water towers are essential to our communities. The massive structures hold clean drinking water, provide a stable system pressure, and store water used to fight fires. When it came time to restore the Ladish water tower, the Village of Pleasant Prairie turned to raSmith.

The 500,000-gallon Ladish water tower is one of four in the Village. Our municipal engineers have experience in working with communities as they restore their water towers, which should be completed about every 20 years. For this project, our team assisted the Village in obtaining quotes for the tower’s recoating, coordinating with Lane Tank Co., Inc. (the painting contractor), and providing a paint inspection both during and after application. raSmith also assisted the Village in making modifications to the tower’s handrail, cellular antennas, riser pipe, vent and tank hatch.

Paint within the tower’s storage tank was completely removed, as was the paint in the interior base, stem, and access tube, the latter of which extends into the tank. To remove the paint, a blast removal process was necessary. Blasting is a method that mixes sand with air and uses a powerful industrial compressor to completely obliterate the paint.

The existing paint on the tower’s exterior was relatively sound but faded. The exterior was brush-blasted and over-coated, saving the Village money and tower downtime. Repainting a water tower is not for the faint of heart: The process involves working in sturdy harnesses while the painters slowly rappel down from the tower’s top as they paint.

Once painting was completed, raSmith’s team inspected the water tower. This involved the engineers donning their own harnesses in order to physically inspect the tank and verify appropriate paint thickness. Painting on the Ladish tower began in September 2019 and finished in early November before cold weather set in.

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