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2nd Annual Tank Building Contest at this year’s PA-AWWA Conference a big success

Special thanks to: Christine Gunsaullus, Entech Engineering

Below is a write-up for the event, along with pics. And check out some REALLY COOL videos on PA-AWWA’s new YouTube channel – click here:


The 2nd Annual Tank Building Contest at this year’s PA-AWWA Conference, proudly sponsored by Entech Engineering, featured 9+ teams tasked with building the tallest free-standing tank out of office materials that could hold 8 oz of water for 30 seconds. Since the materials change each year, teams must think and design on the fly to maximize the materials provided. And since it’s been scientifically proven that creative thinking is enhanced by alcohol, the smart teams took advantage of the open bar.


Since two of the OPs (Old Professionals) either forgot about the contest or were napping, Jeff Golding and Dave Holley merged with the Entech Engineering Warriors (Steve Riley, John Brady), who were determined to make a better showing than last year when they won the Biggest Splash Award. The 2015 winners (Buchart Horn’s Brian Funkhouser, Scott Russell, Dan Cargnel, and Columbia Water’s Dave Lewis) returned as The Winners II, with a strong strategy to repeat their success. New teams this year included the Twisted Cisterns from the North Penn Water Authority (Bill Kasper, Tony Bellitto, Dan Yaw, Mike Shea), the Tank Topplers from Dixon Engineering (Bill Dixon, Lee Jamison, Joe Hoban, and sub Kyle Quinn from MBA), and M3G (Jason Marie, Paul Mourt, Jill Marie, Sarah Bolenbaugh).


Most teams went with a more conservative approach this year, building for sturdiness over height. And most succeeded, with only three tanks falling under pressure. The YPs (Young Professionals – Suzanne Ciavola, Sara Schwetschenaw, Chelsea Kolb, and Claire Chen) confidently sat back while their 20.125” high tank was filled and stood tall. Gene Koontz and his BOD (Board of Directors – Jeff Hines, Brian Steglitz, and sub Gary Lohse) finished their 22” high tank with plenty of time to adorn it with the York Water Company’s 200th Anniversary sticker. But The Big Splash from Lehigh County Authority (Tim Carlson, Mike Brunovsky, with help from Matt Manchisi, George Hart) successfully tested their tank at 23.625”. Next were the Tank Topplers, who held water at 25.375”. And then the tank built by the Winners II measured up at 26”. Could the Rough & Tough Tank Team (Frank Houston, Matt Boeh, Tom Dieball, and Bob Pyrz) will their 31.125” single-stem structure to stand? NO!! Down it went in slow motion!


The Winners II repeated as tank champions, and generously donated their $100 prize to Water For People. Based on crowd applause, the Rough & Tough Tank Team were proud winners of the Biggest Splash t-shirts. Watch videos of the tanks on the new PA-AWWA YouTube channel.


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