Industry News

Spotlight on Corrosion Report Targets Water Treatment

NACE International, the nonprofit association and leading resource for corrosion expertise and education, recently released its “Spotlight on Corrosion Report: The Critical Need for Corrosion Management in the Water Treatment Sector.”

Based on input from more than 1,300 corrosion professionals, the report identifies aging water infrastructure as a pressing and costly threat to public health, while also noting that it is resolvable.

Water Utilities, Municipal Systems

As such, the report recommends the adoption of corrosion management systems (CMS) as an immediate solution for water utilities and municipal systems.

“Like much of our nation's infrastructure, our drinking water pipelines and systems are nearing the end of their useful life,” said Bob Chalker, CEO of NACE. “Ignoring this critical infrastructure until repairs are needed is far costlier, both economically and socially, than preventing corrosion from occurring in the first place. We all need water, we owe it to our communities to get it right from the start.”

According to a study from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the direct cost of corrosion in U.S. drinking water and sewer systems is $80 billion annually, which includes the costs of replacing aging infrastructure and lost water from pipeline leaks. However, this figure does not include the immeasurable cost of widespread health crises that corrosion can create, such as what recently happened in Flint, Michigan.

Academic researchers have suggested that adding orthophosphate to treated drinking water in locations such as Flint can cause protective coatings to form inside pipes, thereby preventing corrosion and controlling lead concentrations at very low levels.

Root Cause of Corrosion

Though corrosion management solutions for water treatment systems exist, many communities nationwide do not adequately implement optimal corrosion control practices into their systems. The latest NACE report equips water treatment professionals and owners of systems of all sizes with the information they need to help identify and solve the root cause of corrosion within their systems.

The report is also a valuable tool for initiating a conversation in communities about how critical it is to invest in water infrastructure to prevent imminent threat of corrosion. In 2019, representatives from NACE’s 56 nationwide membership sections will use this report to work with their community leaders, municipalities, and water systems management to improve and protect local water systems.

The report was guided and reviewed by a task force of five NACE Fellows — a group of technical and professional experts recognized for their distinguished contributions in the field of corrosion and its prevention.

The full report is available at www.nace.org/spotlight.

For more information, contact: NACE International, (281) 228-6200, www.nace.org