The Crestview water tower has been drained in preparation for its makeover.

Crews are expected to begin work on the water tower project this month, which includes fixing an interior pipe and putting a fresh coat of paint on the landmark tower.

In order to move forward with the project, the tower will be taken offline. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Kevin Quaethem said residents should not notice the change. Other wells will pick up the slack while the project is ongoing, which shouldn’t be a problem, he said.

The contractor, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Maquire Iron, will be installing a new mixing system and a brand new fill pipe. The fill pipe will be the first thing completed.

Quaethem said the fill pipe was damaged several years ago after a leak went undiscovered for some time. The pipe was compromised, but still usable.

Quaethem said it could probably be repaired, but with the scope of this project, he said it would be easier to just have it replaced now while work is being done.

One sign that work has started on the site was the removal of trees and shrubs early last month. The plantation was in the “tent zone” and had to be removed.

The base layer of the tower contains lead-based paint so the entire site has to be “tented” to prevent the lead from escaping.

Another sign already drawing attention is a new communications pole. The city uses the Crestview tower as a place to store communications equipment. All the equipment will have to be removed from the top of the tower during painting.

Director of Public Services John Nilges said the equipment is being relocated to the new pole, but the pole won’t be around forever.

“That is a temporary pole to remove all the antennas from the tower onto that pole,” he said. “That pole will be removed once the tank has been painted.”

The equipment must be removed before the tent is placed.

The tent system should be up soon. During high winds, speeds above 15 mph, work will have to stop and the tent taken down.

Once the paint is applied, Quaethem said the new coat should last 25 years.

The paint is needed because rust has begun to show. Quaethem said the tower is structurally sound and should have a 100-year life span with regular maintenance. The tower was built in the 1970s.

The tower has been repainted before, but now the paint has already reached a certain thickness where new paint can’t be added. That means, all the paint has to be completely removed.

The painting project has a target completion date of May 15. The project will cost $598,100.