Protective Coatings For Underground Utility Concrete Structures
By John E. Davis, Sauereisen, Inc.
As our cities and municipalities grow older, the utility and wastewater infrastructure and corrosion preventive program for underground asset protection are aging with them. Municipalities and Utility Companies are struggling to handle rehabilitation measures and effective corrosion prevention programs to deal with prolonging the life of their buried assets. More municipalities are in the process of undertaking rehabilitation projects to restore underground structures and protect them against further corrosion. Many of these municipalities are taking a proactive approach. A few regions in the US, especially those in the southwest, gulf coast, and southeast are starting to require that the concrete manholes, vaults, large diameter pipelines, and structures first be lined with a corrosion resistant material before going into the ground. The warm, humid climate in these regions is a breading ground for significant corrosion in existing underground structures. Preventive maintenance programs are being initiated to prevent or slow the rate of corrosion and degradation and to ensure that utility work and wastewater construction cost are spent efficiently.