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UQ reducing sewer corrosion through integrated urban water management

A team of University of Queensland (UQ) researchers has found a way to save water providers hundreds of millions of dollars a year by reducing sewer corrosion.
UQ reducing sewer corrosion through integrated urban water management

Professor Zhiguo Yuan, Deputy Director, Advanced Water Management Centre, UQ

Team leader and Deputy Director of UQ’s Advanced Water Management Centre (AWMC), Professor Zhiguo Yuan, said sewer systems were recognised as one of the most critical infrastructure assets for urban societies.

“Maintenance costs for these concrete sewers run into the billions of dollars a year across the world,’’ Professor Yuan said.

In a paper published in the leading international journal Science, the research team shows that a common coagulant added in the drinking water treatment, aluminium sulfate, can be a key contributor to the sulfate levels in sewage.

“This, in turn, is the primary source of hydrogen sulfide, which creates rapid concrete degradation and is the main cause of global sewer corrosion,” he said.

“This could be avoided by switching to sulfate-free coagulants at little or no extra cost compared with the large potential savings in sewer maintenance and corrosion costs.

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