Sherwin-Williams Announces Water & Wastewater Impact Award Winners

Short Elliott Hendrickson; Champion Coatings; Wapasha Construction; and the city of Austin, Minnesota, take top spot in inaugural program honoring project excellence using Sherwin-Williams Protective Marine Coatings

CLEVELAND, OHIO – Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH®), Champion Coatings, and Wapasha Construction took top honors in the inaugural Sherwin-Williams Impact Award program for their rehabilitation of a domestic anaerobic digester for the city of Austin, Minnesota. The challenging project impressed the program’s judges, who were looking to recognize notable projects featuring coating and lining materials from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings. The company announced the Impact Award winners at the Water Environment Federation’s WEFTEC conference on September 26, 2016, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“We created the Sherwin-Williams Impact Award to honor demanding water and wastewater projects and recognize those professionals who contribute to improving public health and safety by enhancing water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Kevin Morris, Market Segment Director, Water & Wastewater, Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings. “Award entries demonstrated project excellence in using high-performance protective coatings to address corrosion-related problems across a variety of water and wastewater structures, such as storage, transmission, and treatment facilities.”

Minnesota-based SEH, a multidisciplinary design firm with a focus in the water market; Champion Coatings, an industrial sandblasting and painting contractor; and Wapasha Constructio, a general contractor specializing in wastewater treatment facilities, earned the Sherwin-Williams Impact Award for persevering through major challenges to restore two domestic anaerobic digesters for the city of Austin, Minnesota. The nearly 60- and 80-year-old digesters were severely deteriorated with numerous cracks in their covers that caused the tanks to lose pressure. Through careful consideration of the needed design criteria to solve the facility owner’s problem, SEH recommended the use of SherwinWilliams Polyurethane Elastomer lining. Under challenging operating and weather conditions, the contractors successfully sealed the cracks using SherFlex™ Elastomeric Polyurethane to form a monolithic surface.

“SEH, Champion Coatings, and Wapasha Construction faced a lot of trial and error to properly seal the anaerobic digesters due to difficult-to-access areas within the tanks. Through engagement of all parties, their perseverance demonstrated the companies’ commitment to ensuring quality repairs to extend infrastructure life,” said Morris.

Carolina Management Team (CMT) earned runner-up distinction for the Impact Award with its donation of $45,000 in labor and material costs to rehabilitate a 500,000-gallon water tank for the town of Marshall, North Carolina. The infrastructure rehabilitation contractor used Sherwin-Williams sealants, mortars, waterproofers, and acrylic coatings to rehab the tank. Part of the company’s CMT Gives Back program, the donated services brought back to life a tank that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality deemed to be “a significant issue that needs to be corrected.”

In addition, two projects earned honorable mention distinction for the award, including: the city of Fort Worth, Texas; Tank Industry Consultants (Indianapolis, Indiana); and Classic Protective Coatings (Menomonie, Wisconsin) for recoating a 2.0-million-gallon elevated water tank; as well as the city of Duncanville, Texas; DeltaTek Engineering (Irving, Texas); and Utility Service Group, a division of SUEZ Environnement (Cypress, Texas), for recoating a 1.5-million-gallon elevated water tank. Both projects featured Sherwin-Williams primers, high-solids epoxies, and polyurethanes.

The Sherwin-Williams Impact Award program recognizes application contractors, specifiers, and owners for excellence on North American water and wastewater projects that have a compelling effect on the industry with regard to public safety, asset protection, and infrastructure life cycle improvement. Eligible projects included any water-related structure that was new, restored, and/or rehabilitated in 2015 and was completed using coating and lining materials from Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings.

An independent panel of water industry experts rated entries based on the difficulty of the project, how the contractor overcame challenges, what solutions the contractor provided to the owner, the owner’s satisfaction of the outcome, and the overall uniqueness of the project. The judges included: Tim Greene, Coating Service Project Manager for S&ME; Randy Nixon, President & Founder of Corrosion Probe, Inc.; Gregory R. “Chip” Stein, Managing Principal for Tank Industry Consultants; and Larry Skip Vernon, President of Coating & Lining Technologies, Inc.



Minnesota-based Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH), Champion Coatings, and Wapasha Construction are the winners of the inaugural Sherwin-Williams Impact Award. Their winning project addressed the challenges of restoring two nearly 60- and 80-year-old domestic anaerobic digesters for the city of Austin, Minnesota. The city operates three domestic anaerobic digesters that were constructed between 1938 and 1959, including two with concrete covers. The original structural concrete was still sound, but concrete used in the 1980s to rebuild the digester mixer bases had become severely deteriorated.

Industrial sandblasting and painting contractor Champion Coatings (Savage, Minnesota) and general contractor Wapasha Construction (Winona, Minnesota) stepped in to repair cracking at the wall/cover interface of the anaerobic digesters. The multidisciplinary design firm

SEH, which has a focus in the water market, specified SherFlex Elastomeric Polyurethane and used the product to form a monolithic surface to seal the cracks in the concrete. Crews applied the product to the undersides of the concrete covers, as well as to the upper portion of the tank sidewalls. They also used Dura-Plate® 235 Multi-Purpose Epoxy to address corrosion on some steel surfaces.

The contractors experienced several challenges related to operating and weather conditions, as well as the age of the digesters. Due to numerous cracks in the digester cover prior to repairs, fluid in the lower tank was escaping and reducing the tank pressure. Therefore, crewmembers had to confirm that the tank would hold pressure after completing the repairs. It didn’t after the first repair application, so they reapplied the SherFlex Elastomeric Polyurethane and tested the pressure. Again, the tank didn’t hold pressure. After much troubleshooting, crewmembers discovered a difficult-to-access cold joint that needed to be filled. They carefully repaired the cold joint and realized success, with the tank holding pressure on the next test.

Due to the climate and a cold winter, it took nearly six months to adequately coat the first tank and get it ready for service. With the lessons learned from that tank, the contractors made some adjustments and were able to repair the second tank faster and without issues.



Carolina Management Team (CMT) earned runner-up status for the Sherwin-Williams Impact Award for a project driven by a charitable program the company established to provide deserving communities with water or wastewater infrastructure rehabilitation services at no cost. Named CMT Gives Back, the program aims to support water and wastewater upgrades for rural communities that can’t afford to address necessary improvements.

For the 2015 CMT Gives Back program, the Asheville, North Carolina-based infrastructure rehabilitation contractor restored a 500,000-gallon water storage tank for the town of Marshall, North Carolina – at no cost. CMT donated more than 500 man-hours, as well as the coating supplies and materials, providing a total project value of over $45,000 for free to the town.

To complete the project, CMT first prepared surfaces per SSPC-SP 13 to achieve the specified surface profile. Crews next fixed cracks using Loxon® 1K Smooth Polyurethane Sealant and repaired spalled areas using repair mortars from Sherwin-Williams. They then applied primer and intermediate coats using Sher-Crete® Flexible Concrete Waterproofer. Finally, they applied a topcoat and a painted band around the tank’s perimeter using Sher-Cryl™ High-Performance Acrylic.



In 2015, a project team including Classic Protective Coatings (Menomonie, Wisconsin) and Tank Industry Consultants (Indianapolis, Indiana) managed the recoating of the interior and exterior of a 2.0-million-gallon elevated water tank for the city of Fort Worth, Texas. The recoated, powder-blue tower features a painted logo showing the Fort Worth town name and the head of a Texas Longhorn.

Industrial painting contractor Classic Protective Coatings faced a variety of weather challenges, including major rain delays at the beginning of the project and difficult working conditions in the hot Texas summertime. To help slow down the coating drying times, Sherwin-Williams worked with the contractor and engineers from Tank Industry Consultants on reduction rates and product selections. This enabled longer application windows for crews to complete sections of the massive tower.

The project features several Sherwin-Williams products, including Corothane® I – GalvaPac Zinc Primer 1K for priming the interior and exterior of the tank. The interior featured Macropoxy® 646 PW in various shades for the stripe, intermediate, and finish coats. On the exterior, the stripe and intermediate coats are Acrolon™ 218 HS Polyurethane, and the topcoat and logo are Fluorokem™ HS Fluorourethane.



A project team comprising integrated engineering solution provider DeltaTek Engineering (Irving, Texas) and water and waste management service provider Utility Service Group, a division of SUEZ Environnement (Cypress, Texas), recoated a 1.5-million-gallon tank located in Duncanville, Texas, in early 2015. Inclement weather conditions related to cold temperatures, windy conditions, and precipitation made this a challenging project. Other factors contributing to the difficulty of the job included loads of piping within the structure and in close proximity to the tank, chemical feed buildings near the structure, rocky terrain around the exterior of the tank, and the tank’s location in a highly visible area. In spite of these difficulties, Utility Service Group achieved success with an excellent final appearance for the tank.

The project team specified Corothane I – GalvaPac Zinc Primer 1K for both the interior and exterior of the tank. To finish the interior, crews applied a stripe coat of Macropoxy 646 PW followed by a topcoat of SherPlate PW Epoxy. For the exterior, they used Macropoxy 646 PW for a full intermediate coat and Acrolon Ultra Polyurethane for the finish coat.

Sherwin-Williams is a global protective and marine coatings company that delivers smarter asset protection and unmatched service and specification support to its customers from over 4,000 locations worldwide. From alkyds to zincs, the company offers a complete line of time-tested, high-performance coatings and systems to combat corrosion, supported by the largest group of NACE-certified coatings inspectors in the industry. With 150 years in business and a culture of product innovation, SherwinWilliams today is the single source of supply for coatings solutions made to your specifications and delivered on time, every time.

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