The magnificent and imposing presence of water towers make for some striking additions to the skylines of the UK.
But they do need their upkeep. Over the years Covac has worked tirelessly to develop the best possible methods products to ensure that these towers continue to stay in the best condition they can be.
One example was a project for a Scottish water authority to provide the internal lining of two concrete water towers – Craigend and Garthamlock in Glasgow. The two iconic water towers are a well known feature of Glasgow’s skyline and were originally built to supply Glasgow with water from Loch Katrine.
The product that the Covac team used was Acothane DW at 1000 microns thickness. Both structures had previously been coated with bitumen which had reached the end of its useful life.
The entire surface received a fairing coat (1-3 mm) of cementitious lining finished with a damp sponge to create a profiled surface comparable to coarse abrasive paper. The fairing coat was then allowed to cure for the correct time before application of Acothane LV Clear Sealer.
Since October 2012, COVAC has been the sole UK supplier for Acothane DW Solvent Free Polyurethane coating. With a proven track record, now spanning more than three decades, Acothane DW was developed at the end of the 1970s and continues to be manufactured and applied in a wide variety of industries, predominantly for the repair and relining of water and liquid retaining structures.
The ACOTHANE Polyurethane coating is designed to be applied to steel, concrete and glass reinforced plastic substrates included bridges and structures, off shore and marine structures, pipelines and water retaining structures.
At COVAC we use Polyurethane coating when undertaking water tank relines and water tank coating – effectively repairing the problem and presenting a cost-effective alternative to water tank replacement.
The benefits of Acothane are numerous, with economic, environmental and technical features including:
To maintain the required film thickness at welds, edges, bolt heads and other sharp protuberances a stripe coat can be applied to the areas prior to carrying out the overall application.
During application, our operatives also carry out regular checks of wet thickness with a wet film thickness gauge to ensure specified thickness is applied.
Water towers are often steeped in history and so magnificently striking that when you spot them, it really makes you sit up and take notice. They can be visible from motorways and seen for miles around, making a stunning landmark at their various locations across the UK. Having carried out a number of water tank refurbishments over the years here are a number of special ones we’ve found:
NORTON WATER TOWER, SHEFFIELD
This imposing, yet striking Grade II listed red sandstone water tower was built in the late 1800s in the shape of a cylinder 99 feet (30 m) high with a diameter of 82 feet (25 m). It features a cast iron tank with a capacity of 650,000 gallons and was designed by George F. Deacon, the Chief Engineer of the Liverpool Corporation Waterworks Department. It was built on the water pipeline between Lake Vyrnwy in North Wales and Liverpool to act as a balancing reservoir in the process of supplying water to Runcorn and Liverpool.
LINTON WATER TOWER, CAMBRIDGESHIRE
The Grade II listed water tower on Rivey Hill, Linton, was built in 1935-6 as part of the Linton water scheme and is a striking example of Art Deco design. It was constructed in brick rather than concrete, in order to harmonise with the landscape. The dodecagonal brick exterior has a monumental presence, in its prominent and exposed position on Rivey Hill and the landmark’s sculptural quality is enhanced by its 12 tapering buttresses.
UTC WATER TOWER, SWINDON
This cast iron structure was erected in 1871 and is Grade II listed. It forms a landmark within a heritage area of the town and the nearby railway village. As part of the original Great Western Rail works, the UTC Swindon site creates a link between the ‘historic engineering’ and the ‘engineering future’ of the local area. The recent revival of the site’s existing water tower offers a vivid and inspirational representation of the significance of Swindon’s engineering history to the students who attend UTC and anyone who is lucky enough to view the tower.
JUMBO WATER TOWER, BALKERNE GATE, COLCHESTER
The 130ft (40m) high Jumbo Water Tower at Balkerne Gate in Colchester, Essex, was built in 1882. The tower was nicknamed Jumbo by Reverend John Irvine who was annoyed that the tower dwarfed his nearby rectory. Construction took around 20 months, with 1,200,000 bricks and 819 tons of stone and cement used to build it. After a century of service the water tower became superfluous to the water supply system and was sold off by Anglian Water in 1987. It has had multiple owners since.
THE OLD WATER TOWER, SOUTHWOLD
The Old Water Tower in the middle of Southwold Common, was built in 1890. The tank held 40,000 gallons of water and in 1937 a new 150,000 gallon capacity Art Deco water tower was built next door. Southwold Borough Council bought the Old Water Tower before it came into the hands of successive water companies. It was then returned to the council for a nominal fee of £100 in 1987. The Old Water Tower has since been used as the Lifeboat museum and later by Adnams brewery for a number of years.
CHURCH LANGLEY WATER TOWER
Church Langley Water Tower is a conspicuous landmark perched high above and on the west side of the M11 motorway. It is situated just north of junction 7 near Harlow, where thousands of motorists pass it each day. It is visible from many parts of Harlow and the surrounding countryside.
The tower stores water for businesses and homes in the Church Langley suburb of Harlow. It is also a popular location for sponsored abseiling.
COLESHILL WATER TOWER
The Coleshill Water Tower is located in Coleshill, Buckinghamshire. It was built by German prisoners of war during WWI to provide a gravity fed water system for the nearby town of Amersham. The tower is 30 metres (100ft) high with an internal diameter of 5.4 metres (18ft). Its location on the summit of a hill makes the tower quite the local landmark and it is easily visible from the M40 motorway. If you stand at the top of the tower on a clear day, you can see Central London, Canary Wharf and Guildford Cathedral.
HOUSE IN THE CLOUDS, THORPENESS, SUFFOLK
The House in the Clouds is a stunning water tower which was built in Thorpeness, Suffolk in 1923 to receive water pumped from Thorpeness Windmill. The design is quite unique in that a house has been built on top of it to improve the look of the water tower, disguising the tank below with the appearance of a weatherboarded building more in keeping with Thorpeness’ mock-Tudor and Jacobean style. What makes it so intriguing is that, due to its location, the house on top of the tower looks as though it is floating above the trees.
DOCK TOWER, GRIMSBY
The magnificent Grimsby Dock Tower is a 200ft high hydraulic accumulator tower and a maritime landmark in North East Lincolnshire. It was completed on 27 March 1852 with the purpose of containing 30,000 imperial gallons of water which was used to provide hydraulic power for the machinery of the Grimsby Docks. The extreme height of the tower was necessary to achieve sufficient pressure.
TILEHURST WATER TOWER, READING
This striking construction is also sometimes known as the Park Lane Water Tower. It is a distinctive and prominent water tower, which is located in Tilehurst, Reading, on the Tilehurst ridge line and can be seen from a considerable distance, especially when approaching Reading from the west along the M4 motorway. The tower was erected by Reading Borough Council in 1932 and today it belongs to Thames Water, who still use it for its original purpose. It also houses the transmitter for a local radio station.
For the 7th year in a row, COVAC are delighted to announce that last month we successfully renewed our accreditation with SafeContractor, the leading health and safety assessment scheme in the UK. We take the health and safety of our operatives as well as all those in the vicinity of our projects very seriously, ensuring the correct precautions are in place before we commence, so are incredibly proud to once again have been recognised for this through the accreditation.
We maintain our position with over 20,000 other contractor members across various industries who support this scheme, which is ‘dedicated to promoting higher standards of competence and compliance through the provision of relevant industry specific and tailored health and safety assessments for all professions and sectors.’
Having followed the six step accreditation process, after careful assessment of our practices and processes, we were awarded with our certification which enables us to class ourselves as a SafeContractor accredited member.
Our clients can now feel confident that no matter what level of work we are carrying out, whether it be a cooling tower reline or a water tank refurbishment, our health and safety practices are up to date with the latest standards. What’s more, we will continue to evolve in line with any adjustments or changes to these guidelines to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry.
If you’d like to find out more about this specific accreditation or any of the others we hold, or alternatively wish to enquire about a particular service we offer, get in touch with us today. Call the COVAC team on 08000 484609 or send us an email via our online form and we’ll get back to you to discuss your enquiry in no time at all.
At COVAC, we are immensely proud of our accreditations, affiliations and registrations with many of the industry’s leading bodies and organisations, so were delighted when we received our renewed certification of registration with UVDB recently. This certificate registered us as a supplier on UVDB for a further year for a number of our products/services including our industrial painting and specialist coating services and water tower and tanks services plus a number more.
Achilles UVDB evaluate, qualify and monitor suppliers in various industries on behalf of the buyer, to give confidence that you are only investing in products and services of the very highest quality. As a recognised supplier, we are now in a great position to improve visibility of our services and increase the possibility of being selected for tender opportunities.
For buyers, the risks are reduced and there is the potential to increase efficiency when you choose a UVDB supplier as you save time in assessing all of the suppliers on the market. You can also benefit from increased peace of mind that our necessary business information is up to date and reliable whilst also being assured that we will continue to raise the bar in relation to the services we offer and the quality of those services.
This is another in a long line of accreditations and registrations we hold at COVAC, which we believe epitomises our commitment to offering products and services of the very highest quality to our clients.
If you’d like to find out more about the UVDB click here, or should you wish to discuss any of the available services with a member of the COVAC team, give us a call on 08000 484609 and we’ll be more than happy to help in any way we can.
Prevention is undoubtedly the most effective method of dealing with Legionnaire’s disease, however unfortunately outbreaks continue to occur which can in turn have serious consequences for anyone who is affected. As the bacterium that causes Legionnaire’s disease is so difficult to track, it is often hard to determine the precise location of an outbreak, yet this could soon be set to change after French researchers developed a new technique that enables detection far quicker than many of the traditional methods currently followed by health operatives. Continue ReadingCOVAC
The fire sprinkler system plays a vitally important role in any commercial premises, with the system in a Midlands shopping centre where we recently completed a project being no different. In this instance, COVAC operatives were tasked with relining four steel tanks situated within the roof top plant room of the centre, with these four tanks holding the water used for the fire sprinkler system. The current coating, which was bitumen based, had come to the end of its useful life and the substrate was starting to corrode. If left, the water tank was in danger of developing leaks as well as compromising the structural integrity of the tank so it was important that we conducted a reline as quickly as possible to reduce this risk. Continue ReadingCOVAC
Following on from our previous post which detailed what to do in the event of a leaking water tank, we thought it would be useful to highlight the process we follow after arriving on site to resolve the problem of a leaking water tank. This case study describes the work we completed on a leaking GRP water tank situated within a major events and exhibition centre in the North East of England. Continue ReadingCOVAC
Water tanks are used on a diverse range of sites and for a wide variety of different purposes, with many operating without any problems. However, there is always the risk that unchecked corrosion in a steel tank, failed mastic between joints in a GRP tank or eroded/cracked concrete could be the source of a leak so it is important to have a plan of action. To help you with this, COVAC thought it would be useful to provide you with a few pointers on what to do in the event that your water tank starts to leak. Continue ReadingCOVAC
As the owner of a cooling tower, water tank or any other water retaining structure, it is your responsibility to ensure the structure is safe and any potential risks are identified early and remedied. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state that 90% of outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease are due to a failure in identifying the risk, and therefore the possible Legionella problem developing, or through not putting the necessary schemes in place to control and deal with an identified risk. Continue ReadingCOVAC
At the end of August we reported on an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in Croydon which at the time had seen three confirmed cases of individuals with the disease, which then rose to four cases in September. Following extensive investigations by Public Health England (PHE), Croydon Health Services and Croydon Council, it has since been announced that there is ‘no risk’ to the public and the outbreak is under control. Continue ReadingCOVAC