After a Quarter Century, Tank Remains Corrosion-Free

Aug. 7, 2018
Lake Hallie, Wisc., adds second tank to account for rapid growth

The Village of Lake Hallie, Wisc., is served by a CST Aquastore tank that is older than the town itself. Lake Hallie was incorporated in 2003, 11 years after the tank was built. The 24-year-old tank has performed so well that the village had not given it much thought until it commissioned the construction of a new Aquastore tank to accommodate the area’s growth.

“The water department told us the existing Aquastore had received little or no maintenance since it was built,” said Bill Barr, co-owner of Great Plains Structures, the authorized Aquastore dealer in the Upper Midwest and Near West. “We inspected the tank, and the worst thing we saw was a combination of moss and mildew on the exterior finish.”

The village’s original Aquastore sits on a hill in a wooded area, and corrosion was a concern, but all it took was a little elbow grease to prove the Aquastore tank held up to the harsh conditions of a northern climate, which sees big swings in temperature and continuous freezing and thawing.

“We started by cleaning a small section, and within minutes, you could see the original finish,” said Jason Sixberry, co-owner of Great Plains Structures.

Crews gave the tank a makeover, resealing the edges, power-washing the moss and mildew and applying a solvent to remove graffiti and the paint the owner had applied years ago to cover it. The porcelain enamel shine was fully restored at a minimal cost.

CST Storage provides factory-coated bolted storage tanks for liquid applications in many markets. Each Aquastore goes through a multi-step fabrication process:

  1. A panel of high-strength, low-carbon steel is blasted and alkaline-cleaned.
  2. The edges of the panel are beveled and sprayed with a stainless steel alloy.
  3. The panel is sprayed with specially formulated porcelain slurry that gives it durability, consistency and impermeability. Unlike powder coatings or paint, the slurry is inorganic, so it blocks corrosion.
  4. The panel is then fired at temperatures above 1,500°F (815°C) to fuse the porcelain coating and the steel.
  5. Tests are conducted to verify integrity and durability, including high-voltage testing to detect discontinuities.

The porcelain slurry of an Aquastore tank resists corrosion by its nature, and Aquastore tanks are available in a wide range of colors by mixing pigments into the slurry that’s sprayed and fired onto the steel panel.

“The Aquastore taught us an important lesson about downtime and expense,” said Village Trustee Gary Spilde. “We’ve had zero downtime – not a single day – with that 24-year-old tank, and the impact of something like that on our budget is considerable. That’s one of the main reasons we chose Aquastore for our second tank.”

Lake Hallie is a community of 6,448 residents – still young and growing. And the future looks as bright as the lasting finish on both of its Aquastore tanks. 

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CST Industries