Cost of Corrosion – Drinking Water & Sewer Systems
According to the American Waterworks Association (AWWA) industry database, there is approximately 1,483,000 km (876,000 mi) of municipal water piping in the United States. This number is not exact, since most water utilities do not have complete records of their piping system. The sewer system consists of approximately 16,400 publicly owned treatment facilities releasing some 155 million m3 (41 billion gallons) of wastewater per day (1995). The total annual direct cost of corrosion for the nations drinking water and sewer systems was estimated to be $36.0 billion. This cost was contributed to by the cost of replacing aging infrastructure, the cost of unaccounted-for water through leaks, the cost of corrosion inhibitors, the cost of internal mortar linings, and the cost of external coatings and cathodic protection.
Americans consume approximately 550 liters of drinking water per person per day, for a total annual quantity of approximately 56.7 billion m3 . The treated drinking water is transported through 1.4 million km of municipal water piping. The water piping is subject to internal and external corrosion, resulting in pipe leaks and water main breaks. The total cost of corrosion for the drinking water and sewer systems includes the cost of replacing aging infrastructure, the cost of unaccounted-for water, the cost of corrosion inhibitors, the cost of internal cement mortar linings, the cost of external coatings, and the cost of cathodic protection.