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Friday, May 06, 2016

Water Water Everywhere

UAS Construction Update for 05/06/2016

Water Water Everywhere

On the morning of August 25 2015 UAS experienced an a waterline break, shutting down water to campus just a couple days before freshmen were to enter the John R. Pugh Residence Hall.  Fortunately,  Admiralty Construction was able to pull their crew off another project and make an emergency repair.  We were also fortunate that CBJ had a piece of 16-inch pipe we could use for the repair.

Corrosion (rust) was the cause of the August 2015 waterline break.  The following photos shows just how much the pipe had corroded before it finally broke.  This pipe is 16-inches in diameter and once had a wall thickness of 0.40-inches.  Notice how the pipe joint bolts have corroded so much the heads of the bolts are almost gone.

 

UAS Water Pipe Aug 2015
UAS Water Pipe Aug 2015
 

Corroded Pipe from UAS August 2015 Repair.

Ductile  iron pipes are protected from corrosion by a cement lining on the inside and a protective coating on the outside.  This protection system typically lasts for 50+ years.  Our UAS pipe is 30 years old.  Early corrosion of a pipe can be caused by many things, with corrosive soils and electrolysis being the usual culprits.   We do not know for sure what caused the corrosion in UAS’s water line and running tests to find out, cost much more than repairing the pipe.  However, electrolysis is my best guess based on the number of electrical conduits seen in the below photo.  Also, records show that an electrical transformer sat on this site for many years.

 

UAS Waterline Repair May 2016
UAS Waterline Repair May 2016
 

Pipe Excavation UAS May 2016 Repair

We are taking additional precautions against corrosion for this waterline repair. First is a high density polyethylene covering around the pipe.  This breaks any stray electrical connection between the pipe and the surrounding soil.  Second, we are adding some sacrificial zinc anodes attached to the pipe.  Zinc is an more excitable element than steel, so the zinc will corrode first, thus protecting the steel pipeline. These function the same way as zincs do on your boat. 

The Contractor has been working with Water coming up from the ground, Water falling from the sky and Water leaking out of the pipe.  UAS Staff in the Hendrickson Building, Hendrickson Annex, Soboleff Building and Soboleff Annex have been working without any Water.  Today makes us appreciate Engineers and Contractors who deliver water where we want it and keeps it from places we don’t.    

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