32 Years Old Never Looked So Good

Glass-Fused-toSteel Tank Saves City Maintenance Budget Thousands of Dollars Over Tank Life Cycle

Project Overview
Owner: City of Webster, SD
Installed: 1983
Tank Size: 61' D x 24' H
Capacity: 530,000 Gallons
Application: Potable Water

Selected because of its low maintenance costs, in 1983 the City of Webster, a small community of 2,200 residents in South Dakota, invested in a glass-fused-to-steel reservoir to store its potable water. “After 32 years you can see the tank looks brand new,” says Webster Public Works Director Arlie Larson. “With all the responsibilities that we have as a municipality it has been great to have one less thing to worry about and that has been our glass-fused-to-steel reservoir. As with every tank in service in our system, every three years the tank is visually inspected and cleaned of any sediment build-up. Over the life of the tank, these inspections have amounted to approximately $44,830.00. That’s an average of $1,400 per year.”

In terms of life cycle cost estimates that compare this 62 ft Dia. x 24 ft high glass-fused-to-steel tank to a painted welded tank of the same size, Webster’s choice makes even more sense. Maintenance costs differ widely between the two tanks. Repainting the interior and exterior of the welded tank costs approximately twice as much as replacing the interior and exterior fillets (sealants) of the glass-fused-to-steel tank. (In the case of the Webster tank above, and many other tanks of the same age around the country, it should be noted that no fillet replacements have been required to date.)

"I would recommend the glass-fused-to-steel tank to anyone looking for a long term, low maintenance water storage reservoir. And with the Glass-Fused-to-Steel tank, that is exactly what they will get." - Arlie Larson, Director of Public Works, Webster, SD

Accounting for NPV (net present value), and assuming three painting cycles for the welded tank and three fillet replacements for the glass-fused-to-steel tank over a 60-year time span, the glass-fused-to-steel tank maintenance costs would add up to $266,000, while those of the painted welded tank would amount to $906,000—this represents a significant difference of $640,000 over the sixty-year life of the tank.

An Glass-Fused-to-Steel tank requires minimal maintenance over its life cycle and EA Tanks can provide a complete service package tailored to the individual owner’s application and needs. Most importantly, the coating technology has little environmental impact and never needs painting, unlike conventional field applied coatings (or factory-applied epoxy), saving your water system hundreds of thousands of dollars over its lifetime.