February 2, 2017

Be​ ​proactive,​ ​not​ ​reactive​ ​with​ ​asset​ ​management

Water and wastewater systems are made up of assets, which can deteriorate over time. As they age, the assets can lose value, the level of service they provide may be compromised, and operations and maintenance costs can increase. Having a proactive asset management system in place is an important part of mitigating these problems.

Asset management helps utilities and water authorities make decisions on how to best manage aging assets to ensure their value is protected and that finances are available to maintain and rehabilitate them when necessary.

The aim of asset management is to be proactive and take a long-term view to protecting assets.

Corrosion management

One of the main threats to the longevity and integrity of water and wastewater assets is corrosion. Therefore, an important part of asset management for these systems is having a risk-based inspection plan for corrosion. Rehabilitation, rather than rebuilding, is better for the asset owner, better for the community, and better for the environment.

If possible, measures to prevent corrosion should be implemented before the affects can be seen as by the time corrosion is visible it is already well advanced and requires attention. If it’s not able to be remedied immediately, corrosion should be noted and appropriate steps taken as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading and further compromising the structure.

Rehabilitation with epoxy liners

There are a variety of materials and technologies available for rehabilitating existing structures, including epoxy liners, calcium aluminate cement (CAC) mortars, and HDPE liners.

Epoxy liners, in particular, are well suited for the rehabilitation of these structures as they halt corrosion in its tracks, prevent further deterioration, and are fast-drying.

Some of the key benefits of epoxies include:

  • Chemical resistance: epoxy liners have superior acid resistance making them ideal for use in wastewater environments where acid attack is a problem
  • Long-lasting: epoxy liners are durable and long-lasting, and will experience minimal erosion for years and even decades
  • Low friction: as epoxy liners have a smooth finish any matter moving through the system won’t stick to it, helping to prevent blockages
  • Reduced thickness: compared to other liners which have a thickness of up to 30mm+, epoxy liners can be applied as thinly as 2-3mm reducing the loss of internal diameter

According to Colin Murphy, product manager for Hychem, utilities and water authorities have begun to notice the benefits of epoxy coatings.

“We have worked with a number of utilities to rehabilitate water and wastewater infrastructure who have been very impressed with the performance of Hychem’s TL5 epoxy coating in their systems over the long-term,” Mr Murphy said.

“TL5 can be applied directly on new and damaged concrete in sewers and other wastewater assets with a coverage in excess of 6mm in one application.

“The product also has an attractive price point, holds up well to the water and sewer environments, and can last the distance. We have clients who have reported minimal change to the TL5 lining they had installed 15 to 20 years ago.”

Selecting the right coating

Selecting the right coating for concrete structures can be difficult, as there are few standards or guides.

However, one of the best generic guides for various water asset coatings is detailed in the Water Service Australia manual 201. This guide details several specifications where a product like Hychem TL5 is often specified.

Another guide to choosing a protective system against interior and exterior atmospheric corrosion for steel is AS/NZS 2312. This standard provides guidelines for short, medium and long term protection of steel.

A versatile solution

Hychem TL5 epoxy coating has proven itself in harsh and aggressive water and wastewater environments, having been used by numerous utilities and water authorities around Australia to rehabilitate and repair corroded infrastructure.

For more information on coating solutions, please contact Hychem on (02) 4646 1660.

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