With the exception of some of the older ones, El Paso Water’s elevated water storage tanks are understated.
A traditional white with EPWater blue striping adorns the newer tanks throughout the Sun City. But in far east El Paso, directly across from Pebble Hills High School, the 2.5 MG Ranchos Real Tank stands out from the rest.
The now famous ‘El Paso Strong’ slogan is prominent on the newest tank.
Following the tragic shooting at Walmart on August 3, Donnie Bullins of Viking Industrial Painting, the painting subcontractor for Landmark Structures, the contractor building the tank, brought up the idea of painting the words on the tank at their next construction progress meeting.
“In this meeting, Donnie expressed how much he loves El Paso and its people,” said Gerardo Gomez, Engineering Program Administrator. “Donnie is not an El Paso resident; he is from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. But he was deeply saddened when the tragic event occurred.”
As feasibility talks continued, Viking Industrial Painting offered to pay for the materials, time and labor, so the utility and ratepayers would not have to incur the costs.
The design was finalized on Sept. 15, 2019. And since construction is nearly complete, President & CEO John Balliew introduced the unique tank at the June Public Service Board meeting.
“We are very happy to participate with Landmark and Viking on this project,” Balliew said. “We are very thankful they came up with the idea and agreed to do this for us and the community.”
Even Mayor Dee Margo was impressed with the project, commenting at the PSB meeting that he would like to recognize both Landmark Structures and Viking Industrial Painting at an upcoming City Council meeting.
The El Paso Strong logo will also be added to the elevated tank in Mesquite Hills in northeast El Paso, and possibly several others. However, this logo is being added as an exception to policy.
Future water towers will continue to be built with no-logo designs that are neutral and require minimum maintenance.