Corrosion Protection

   Protecting underground infrastructure from corrosion is another way to ensure reliable water service to the utility’s customers.  Corrosion can contribute to water main breaks, especially in ductile iron pipes. 
Corrosion is caused by many things such as the soil composition the pipe is placed in, the structural integrity of the pipe when it was built, or the water lines’ proximity to other utility lines.   To combat against corrosion in areas with highly corrosive soils, newly installed ductile iron pipe may require Polyethylene (plastic) wrap, which insulates the pipe from potential corrosion.  Additionally, many municipalities require the coating of all the fittings and fasteners with rubberized mastic, a sealant that essentially does the same job as plastic wrap. Wrapping the pipes in plastic and coating the fittings and fasteners reduces the chances of corrosion to occur because it has virtually no exposed metal to interact with. The organization that I work for requires all newly installed reclaimed water distribution lines 10 inches or larger to be ductile iron pipe. Furthermore, if the project requires pipe to be laid underneath a “major” roadway, it must be ductile iron pipe and have a steel casing for protection. In the pictures is a project I worked on, a crew is replacing a portion of a 42” water main that was leaking underneath a roadway and in some of the pictures you can see the pantone purple(pinkish) plastic coating covering portions of the undistributed pipe.

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