by Lori Riddle

It's not often that I get to watch a storage tank project from start to finish. From my desk at Fisher Tank Company's Leesville, SC, office, I am involved in projects in the very early stages - sometimes before they are even "real" projects. I see initial requests for pricing, I see projects reported in industry publications, I get reports from colleagues about potential tank projects, I help Fisher Tank get qualified to bid on tank work, and I see proposals go out to customers. I also get to see steel plate being delivered to our fabrication shop, and I see our construction units being readied for the next job. I see our Engineering team working on tank and foundation designs. I see shell plates being rolled, or blasted, or shop primed. I see our fabrication experts working on door sheets or fabricating manways, stairs or other specialty items. I see a lot of the process, but rarely do I ever get to see the actual construction of a field erected tank, from start to finish.

greenfield tank site; water storage tankRecently, however, I got to watch a project from beginning to end, when Fisher Tank Company was awarded the contract to build a 2,000,000 standpipe for the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission of Lexington County, SC. We've built tanks for the Commission before, but this one was just a few miles from our Leesville campus on my route home. I got to watch the progress from day one!  

For this particular project, Fisher Tank's scope included the foundation, the tank design and fabrication, tank erection, and painting. Before any of that could begin, heavy equipment arrived at the site to prepare for the new tank - installing underground piping to connect the tank site to the Commission's water system, installing electrical lines, grading the site and more. 

While that was happening, our engineering team in Leesville was working with the Commission's project team to finalize the drawings for the new tank, and our purchasing team was getting the steel ordered and shipped to our fabrication facility. As civil work continued at the project site, our shop was busy fabricating the tank shell, the plate for the knuckle umbrella roof, the anchor chairs, the ladder, and the safety climb. and all other parts of the tank. Once fabrication was complete, the shell plates were blasted and primed in our shop, and all the tank components were loaded onto to a trailer to be delivered to the jobsite.   

Before the shell plates etc., arrived, the project site was prepped for the tank foundation and the Horton Construction team arrived to pour the massive concrete foundation. If you've never seen a tank foundation being poured, it is an amazing thing to see! 

tank foundation; standpipe; water tank

After the foundation was in place and cured, tank erection began, and one steel plate at a time, a 2,000,000 gallon water tank went up. It is impossible to grasp how huge those steel plates are until you see them up close, being welded into place one by one. The tank roof was constructed on the ground; the roof was built like a pie in reverse - with the wedge-shaped roof plates being welded into place one at a time. The completed roof was lifted with a crane, and welded into place. 

welded steel tank; standpipe; knuckle umbrella roof; tank roof lift

Finally, the completed tank was painted by our Fisher Tank field painting crew, with a Tnemec coatings system in a gorgeous blue and white color scheme. The final touch was the Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission's logo, which shows up beautifully on the tank. Watching this tank go from a patch of red clay to an iconic symbol of growth and development in my community was amazing. I feel lucky to have been able to do that, and it's great to see this water storage wonder in early morning fog and afternoon sun as I pass it on my way to work!

Fisher Tank; standpipe; Joint Municipal Water & Sewer Commission

 Check out the time lapse construction video! 

HubSpot Video


Thank you to our friends at Tnemec and Drake Media for providing us with some great drone video and aerial shots.

Time lapse footage recorded with iBeam Construction Cameras.

Free project planning worksheet

Storage Tank Construction welded steel storage tanks AWWA D-100 Water tank tank coatings knuckle umbrella roof tank foundation tank erection tank roof lift

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