Infrastructure Corrosion Is a Major Threat to Public Health, Says Study

Infrastructure Corrosion Is a Major Threat to Public Health, Says Study

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A recent report based on input from more than 1,300 corrosion professionals identifies aging water infrastructure as a pressing, costly yet fixable threat to public health and recommends the adoption of Corrosion Management Systems (CMS) as an immediate solution for water utilities and municipal systems.

The report is titled Spotlight on Corrosion Report: The Critical Need for Corrosion Management in the Water Treatment Sector and was published by NACE International — a nonprofit association and leading resource for corrosion expertise and education.

“Like much of our nation’s infrastructure, our drinking water pipelines and systems are nearing the end of their useful life,” says NACE International CEO Bob Chalker. “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 Federal Highway Administration study, 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, but it does not include the immeasurable cost of widespread health problems like the Flint Water Crisis that corrosion can create.

Though corrosion management solutions for water treatment systems exist, many communities nationwide do not adequately implement optimal corrosion control practices into their systems. The Spotlight on Corrosion 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 also aims to initiate a conversation in communities across the country about how critical it is to invest in water infrastructure to prevent the imminent threat corrosion poses to public health.

In 2019, representatives from NACE International’s 56 nationwide membership sections will use this report to work with community leaders, municipalities, and water systems management to improve and protect local water systems.

The Spotlight on Corrosion Report was guided and reviewed by a task force of five NACE International fellows — a group of technical and professional experts recognized for their contributions in the field of corrosion and its prevention.


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