Giant tarp to capture debris from water tower cleaning



Equipment is set up on a Port Aransas water tower on Tuesday, Jan. 10, in preparation for the tower to be cleaned and painted. A giant tarp is to be draped around the tower so falling flakes of old paint won’t be a problem, according to officials with Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4. Staff photo by Dan Parker

Equipment is set up on a Port Aransas water tower on Tuesday, Jan. 10, in preparation for the tower to be cleaned and painted. A giant tarp is to be draped around the tower so falling flakes of old paint won’t be a problem, according to officials with Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4. Staff photo by Dan Parker

To prevent falling flakes of old paint from causing problems, a giant tarp will be put up at a Port Aransas water tower while it is being cleaned for a new paint job.

Meeting on Friday, Jan. 6, the Nueces County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 Board of Directors voted unanimously to have a contractor, CFG Industries, shroud the tower from top to bottom with the tarp.

CFG was hired earlier to repaint the tower. Before the move to get a tarp involved, the water district was planning to pay the firm about $129,000 to do the paint job. The addition of the tarp will cost the district another $47,500.

The tower is located off State Highway 361, just behind the Tower Center strip shopping mall and immediately adjacent to the water district’s headquarters.

Preparing the tank for the paint job, workers a few weeks ago began pressure-washing the structure to clean it.

But when that happened, two layers of old paint came off – an unintended consequence.

Showers of old paint flakes fell to the ground below, getting in vegetation and on cars that were parked nearby.

The paint flakes didn’t contain lead, said Scott Mack, manager of the water district.

Still, there were concerns about potential liability and environmental problems, said Charlie Zahn, attorney for the water district. As a result, the water district ordered the work halted, he said.

Mack said he expected the tarp to be up and for pressure washing to resume this week.

The contractor has a deadline to get the work done by Spring Break.

Many Texas schools will observe Spring Break from March 11 to 18 this year.

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