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Bi-color tank isn’t an accent wall for upscale north Main

The city of Durango water tank that sits on a cliff on the northwest side of town is getting a new coat of green paint. The tannish-yellow color on “Tanque Verde” is just a temporary primer, soon to be painted a shade called Ludlow Falls, which is the name of a town in Ohio.

What’s up with the water tank near Animas Mountain? The tank used to be a muted green, which wasn’t very visible. Now it’s is being repainted a tannish-dull yellow color that makes it an eyesore. Any thoughts? Anonymity please.

Speaking of anonymity, Action Line found out that the water tank has an actual name! Seriously.

It’s “Tanque Verde,” according to city documents.

Not that anyone calls it Tanque Verde. Most of us simply refer to “the water tank near Animas Mountain.”

In any case, the 3-million-gallon barrel has been around since the 1960s and is due for some TLC beyond an exterior paint job.

The project is a complete makeover that includes “upgraded controls, security and safety appurtenances.”

That’s quoting a city press release issued after Action Line started snooping around town hall, contacting staff and even calling the painting contractor who really didn’t want to speak to the media.

The press release raises an important question.

What are “appurtenances?”

As Action Line always says, never use a big word when a diminutive one will do, if only to eschew obfuscation.

In any case, the city-facing half of the tank features a new tannish-yellow color while the back end features sun-faded green.

Is this paint scheme part of Durango’s new exterior decorating initiative to have a massive “accent wall” for North Main beautification?

Or is the tannish hue the city’s way of preparing for global warming, proactively painting the tank the color of the barren desert, which is what our hillsides are going to look like?

Thankfully, or tankfully, bilious beige is not the new green, so neither of these scenarios apply.

The tannish paint is merely primer. So we’re not going to have to rename Tanque Verde as Tanque Amarillento, or “yellowish tank.”

Recent rainfalls have prevented crews from finishing the primer coat. Thus the dual tones.

But what color will the tank eventually be? Here’s where it gets interesting.

Think about how house paints have ridiculous names for different shades.

It’s no different for industrial coatings.

The green hue chosen for Tanque Verde is “Ludlow Falls.” That’s the word from our good friend Matt Holden, an engineer with the city’s utilities department.

“It’s a darker green that will blend in with the vegetation on the hillside,” Matt assured.

Even so, how weird is it that a Durango water tank will feature a shade of green named for a town in Ohio?

So we asked Matt if there are any other shades of green used for Durango’s eight other water tanks.

Turns out that the tanks at the water treatment plant and at Twin Buttes are painted “Lemon Verbena.”

So now we know what is meant by “the Durango Lifestyle.” It’s when our infrastructure sounds like a day-spa aromatherapy shampoo.

If Animas City or Junction Creek residents who want their homes to match the color of the nearby water tank, various paint manufacturers have different names for the shade Ludlow Falls.

Look for Tuscany Hillside, Asparagus Tip or Crocodile Style, depending on the paint brand, according to the Encycolorpedia website.

The colors Frog Spawn, Aged Avocado and Messenger Bag will provide a lovely contrast.

Meanwhile, don’t let anyone tell you the Animas River is “gray.”

It’s either Roasted Forest Soy Espresso or Hermosa Thunderhead Smokey Slate.

Ironically, there’s an existing color in the Pantone rainbow. Look up “Pantone 416” and see if it’s not a match.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity if you’ve ever been to Ludlow Falls.