OBIC Armor System Saves The Union Terminal Station Fountain In Cincinnati, Ohio

When most people think about water and wastewater rehabilitation, they think about manholes, pump stations and sewer systems. All of these are accurate, but it may be surprising to learn that OBIC products have a wide variety of applications that go beyond stormwater or wastewater system rehabilitation services.

The Union Terminal Station fountain in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an example of the unexpected places OBIC products can be used.


A once significant development in the history of Cincinnati, Union Station Terminal had long ago been converted to house the Cincinnati Museum Center. Built in 1933, the building was in need of significant repairs and restorations. When the Historical Society for Cincinnati began the project, they were also sure to include restoration of the building’s fountain in their plans.

An iconic landmark, the fountain is rumored to be the inspiration behind the Hall of Justice in DC Comic’s Justice League. Unfortunately, after decades of use, it was also causing a lot of problems for the museum. Corrosion and exfiltration issues allowed water from the fountain to leak into the museum below. As the historical society began planning restoration of fountain, they reached out to an OBIC certified installer to provide a solution that would prevent this from happening in the future.

The OBIC Armor lining system proved to be the ideal solution to the problem, and installers were contracted to apply a waterproof membrane to the fountain during the renovation. Although the orange OBIC lining is not visible under the terrazzo tile of the beautifully restored fountain, it is a vital component that will keep the fountain functioning efficiently for decades to come.


Step one: Planning

This was a different type of project for the OBIC installers contracted to help restore the Union Terminal Station fountain, but they knew that they had the products and experience to get the job done right. After several mock-ups, the plan was finalized and crews were ready to begin work on installation of the waterproof membrane.

Step Two: Preparing the surface

The first four days of the project were spent preparing the surface for installation of the OBIC lining system. Crews used two hydro blasters with 4 lances and floor scrubber to remove the cream from the new concrete and create a profile for a better bond to the surface of the fountain. This step is vital to the process, as it would ensure optimal performance of the OBIC Armor lining system.

Step Three: Application of the lining system

After the surface of the fountain was prepped, it was time to install the OBIC lining system. Unfortunately, the weather proved problematic. The first week was completely rained out with frequent storms and showers preventing crews from working on the fountain. The following week, the crew was ready to move forward. With a dry, solid surface, the OBIC installers were able to apply the first layer of the OBIC lining system, OBIC 1500 CP-F Concrete Primer. This layer was used to ensure that the OBIC Armor system would properly adhere to the surface.

Upon completion of the primer layer, the fountain was ready for application of the OBIC Armor System. This was comprised of two additional layers of OBIC products. OBIC 1000 Polyurea (80 mils) and OBIC 1151 Aliphatic Polyurea Spray Coating. This last coating has excellent chemical resistance and would ensure that the concrete was protected from the high chlorine content of the water in the fountain.

The biggest challenge that the crew continued to encounter throughout the project was the weather. Working with no protection from the rain and occasional snow showers, crews were frequently forced to use shop vacuums to remove puddles from the fountain’s surface.

 Life Expectancy

With the installation of the OBIC Armor lining system to waterproof and protect the concrete, the life expectancy of the fountain was extended by decades. No maintenance is required to preserve the membrane layer, which is hidden beneath the terrazzo tile that was installed on top of the OBIC liner.

To learn more about how OBIC products can rehabilitate your water or wastewater systems, contact our team online or call us at 866-636-4854.

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