From The Douglas County News-Press (Shanna Fortier):
The Sedalia water tank, which is the sole supplier of water to the town and a historic site, is in the homestretch of receiving much-needed work, which will allow the tank to still be used, rather than replaced.
“This was a much-overdue project,” said Mary Kasal, district engineer for Sedalia Water and Sanitation District. “We’re pleased to get it done.”
Constructed in 1906, the Sante Fe Railway Water Tank stands in an open grassy area northwest of the unincorporated town of Sedalia. Two cottonwood trees stand to the west and a large, high, grass-covered berm traverses along the north between the tank and Highway 85.
The 140,000-gallon capacity water tank sits on a sag foundation and is 24 feet in diameter and 43 feet high. The cylindrical tank is constructed of large sections of steel that have been riveted together.
Historically, the tank was painted in Sante Fe colors, Sante Fe red with the Santa Fe logo in yellow, black and red. Today, the tank is painted metallic silver with the word “Sedalia” in red with a black outline facing Highway 85. Below, in black, it reads, “Elev. 5835.”
The water tank is on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1958, the railroad deeded the system (water tank, pipe and well pump) to the Sedalia Water and Sanitation District.
Today, the tank is still used as a water storage facility, which serves as part of the community’s water supply and distribution system.
But the tank had fallen into disrepair. It was old, rusted and was no longer up to code. New Occupational Safety and Health Administration certified access points had to be installed and new regulations for fresh-water drinking systems needed to be put into place for the tank to stay functional.
With grants from the State Historical Fund, Douglas County Community Development Block Grant and The Edmund T. and Eleanor Quick Foundation, the town was able to recoat the inside of the tank with Ecodur 201, a super green (solvent free, VOC free, BPA free) product from Castagra that uses natural vegetable oil.
“The town people love this tank,” said Matt Cullen of Castagra Products Inc., adding the the residents have been bringing workers food and water throughout the project. “We’re happy to work with the town on this project.”