PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Water Additive Eyed in Corroded Sewers

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

A surprising connection between water treatment and wastewater management could be causing the sewers in Australia to quickly corrode.

Researchers from the University of Queensland say an additive used to treat drinking water could be to blame.

In some instances, the concrete pipes have had their lifetime reduced by up to 90 percent, brisbanetime.com.au reported.

Professor Zhiguo Yuan, research team leader and deputy director of the University of Queensland's Advanced Water Management Centre, said sewer systems are one of the most critical infrastructure assets for urban societies.

sewer collapse
Images, video: University of Queensland

Sulfate levels in sewage are greatly made up of sulfates from the drinking water treatment process and are causing rapid corrosion in concrete sewer systems, researchers said.

"Maintenance costs for these concrete sewers run into the billions of dollars a year across the world," said Yuan.

Rapid Sewer Corrosion

Over the course of several years, the research team performed a sampling in South East Queensland, did an extensive survey across Australia, provided a global literature review, and made a comprehensive model-based scenario analysis of the various sources of sulfate.

The research team said adding aluminum sulfate to water may be a key contributor to sulfate levels in sewage. The aluminum binds to the particles in the water and is removed in the process, but the sulfate is soluble and remains in the treated water.

"This, in turn, is the primary source of hydrogen sulfide, which creates rapid concrete degradation and is the main cause of global sewer corrosion," Yuan explained.

Microbes oxidize the hydrogen sulfide to form sulfuric acid, which is extremely powerful in corroding concrete. The concrete deteriorates at a rate of up to 10mm per year, or more in extreme cases, brisbanetimes.com.au reported.

This video explains the researchers' discoveries.

According to the researchers, their study showed that in systems with low sulfate levels in raw water, the sulfate added in the drinking water treatment could cause significant additional sulfide formation.

Switching from Sulfates

Yuan said the cost to switch to sulfate-free coagulants in water treatment would be nothing compared to the large potential savings in sewer maintenance and corrosion costs.

Switching would reduce concrete corrosion by 35 percent after just 10 hours and by 60 percent over a longer time frame, the researchers said.

The reason this was never known before, the researchers said, is probably because the water system is separated into water and wastewater sections that are often run by different organizations.

"Therefore, a more fully integrated urban water management approach is necessary to identify such interactions and determine the most optimal long-term solution for the overall system, rather than primarily minimising costs locally," the researchers said. 

Research Partners

The research, "Reducing sewer corrosion through integrated urban water management," was published in Science.

Professor Zhiguo Yuan

"Maintenance costs for these concrete sewers run into the billions of dollars a year across the world," said Professor Zhiguo Yuan.

"What Zhiguo and his team have achieved is a perfect example of a successful industry collaboration that has added the 'plus factor' to excellent research and delivered an innovative, cost-effective solution to a global problem," commented Professor Peter Høj, University of Queensland's vice-chancellor and president.

The University of Queensland partnered with the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology, Barwon Water Corporation, CH2MHILL, City of Gold Coast, Hunter Water Corporation, Melbourne Water Corporation, South Australian Water Corporation, South East Water Limited, Sydney Water Coporation, Veolia Water, Water Research Australia Limited, and Water Corporation of Western Australia.

   

Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; Concrete; Corrosion; Research; Sulfates; Wastewater Plants

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (8/21/2014, 12:00 PM)

While this is quite interesting, I find it odd the research doesn’t mention sulfate attack. Sulfates are known to directly degrade concrete, without the need for the interim steps forming sulfides, etc. http://www.understanding-cement.com/sulfate.html


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment

Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278


Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.


Corrosion Probe, Inc.
From Detection to Correction

Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at
860-767-4402, www.cpiengineering.com


U.S. Zinc
Historic Reliability. Innovative Performance.

As an industry leader with an established global footprint, we provide the products that prolong the life your paints and coatings. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™


BASF
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
polyorders@basf.com
800-231-7868


LS Industries
LS Blasters: Optimum Steel Cleaning Efficiency

Simplify surface prep with the precise shot control of LS Blasters. Our blast technology delivers optimum coverage and finish. 800-533-8008


Mohawk Garnet
Mohawk Garnet™ – North American Hard Rock

Rough around the edges – which is what you want in your abrasive. More information at 1.866.642.7638 or info@mohawkgarnet.com


KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator
Coatings Inspection

Any structure, any height, any place - A qualified coatings inspector is always available. Call 800-245-6379.


Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

Manufactured from 100% Recycled Glass.
NO Crystalline Silica,
Beryllium & Arsenic
Great White Metal Finish!
4 plants on Navy QPL
Call us at 866-775-6226

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com