What’s up with the canvas curtain around the water tower at UVM?

Joel Banner Baird
| Burlington Free Press

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It could be a work of art — or a graphic reminder to wear a face covering — but the towering, billowing canvas shroud near University of Vermont Medical Center was erected to help restore a water tank.

As weather permits, crews are sandblasting the 1954-vintage storage tank and preparing to repaint it.

A mesh of cables support the curtain, and debris is ducted into a noisy filtration system at the tower’s base.

Location: UVM campus; south of hospital, north of Jeffords Hall.

Expected completion: Weather dependent. Late September/early October likely.

What’s being built: Stripped of paint and primer, a top-down surface restoration.


  • Last painted in 2010.
  • Tank capacity is 500,000 gallons
  • Water has been drained from tank during restoration job.
  • No mural or other art is planned for the finished paint job.

What’s being replaced: Decade-old paint job.

Project cost: Approximately $850,000.

Developer: Burlington Department of Public Works, Water Division.

The city-owned tank helps maintain adequate water pressure for Burlington’s higher elevation customers, including UVM and the hospital, according to Rob Goulding, a spokesman for Public Works.

Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.

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