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Cover depth versus service life of concrete sewer pipes subjected to biogenic sulphuric acid attack

Design model for sustainable concrete pipes


Concrete sewer pipe deterioration due to microbially-induced (biogenic) sulphuric acid (H2SO4) attack is not a new problem. Over the years, researchers have studied this phenomenon to establish the mechanisms involved and factors that influence the rate of concrete deterioration. Concrete is the most frequently used material for large diameter outfall sewers due to its inherent strength, durability under most conditions, and low costs of production. Furthermore, the fact that concrete pipes can generally be rehabilitated by application of inert or cementitious linings even when their steel reinforcement covers are corroded justifies the reason why they are preferred to other sewer pipe materials for use in wastewater disposal pipelines, bearing in mind the high costs that are associated with premature replacement of such deteriorated facilities. Notably, approximately 20% of the total damage of concrete sewer pipes in a given sewer section is caused by biogenic H2SO4 or sulphate (SO42-) attack [1].

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CPi worldwide journals are trade journals for the concrete and precast concrete industry that are published in 10 different language editions in more than 170 countries. These trade journals, with their practical editorial reporting on research, production and applications, are specifically addressing the decision makers of the concrete and precast concrete industry.

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