What it's like inside a 1.6M gallon water tank in Voorhees

VOORHEES, N.J. (WPVI) -- An $800,000 project is complete and a 1.6 million gallon water tank is ready to be pressed back into service in Voorhees.

You've seen water tanks in towns all over, but ever wonder what it's like inside these massive structures?

Well, I got the chance to step into the tank on Golf View Drive in Voorhees that New Jersey American Water has just rehabbed and repainted.

At 74 feet high and 60 feet wide the empty space inside is cavernous.

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Take a tour inside a massive water tank.

"Both the inside and the outside have to be scrubbed down, sandblasted and go through a very complex process of painting and coating," Peter Eschbach of New Jersey American Water said.

Three coats on the outside, one super-thick coat inside painted by workers suspended from the ceiling.

This tank was built in 1958 and last painted in 1993.

"As long as you maintain it, pretty much the lifespan is forever," project manager Jim Scott said.

The tank is one of 61 the company has in the Camden-Burlington area.

When it's filled, it's part of a network of 9,000 miles of pipe that takes treated Delaware river water and supplies it to half a million customers in the area.

The company invited some of its employees and regulators to take a rare look inside the tank.

"I've been doing this for 35 years and this is my first time inside a tank," BPU Water Rates Chief Mike Kammer said.

What really strikes you inside this tank are in the acoustics.

The sound of maybe a dozen people inside the space builds to a roar and soon sounds like there are a thousand people here.

Stamping your foot sounds like a cannon firing.

And our shouts echoed for at least 7 seconds.

The tank should be back online any day now and shouldn't need another facelift for 15 or 20 years.

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