Long Term Strategies for Charlotte Water’s Corrosion Control Optimization

Authors:

  • Colleen Geohagan PE,Scott Alpert PhD, PE, Jay Jackson PE, Gary Iversen PE - Hazen and Sawyer
  • Gabe Sasser - City of Charlotte

The initial phase of the pilot study invested four alternative corrosion control strategies to the existing plant finished water, including non-zinc orthophosphate, a 50%:50% poly:orthophosphate blend, a 70%:30% poly:orthophosphate blend, and increasing alkalinity using sodium bicarbonate.

Charlotte Water consistently produces a high quality finished water that meets customer expectations, internal benchmarks, and drinking water regulations, including the Lead and Copper Rule. However, the changing quality of CLTWater’s source water has resulted in an increasing trend in the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) at several distribution system sampling locations. In addition to free chlorine for disinfection, lime is added to the finished water to adjust the pH to above 8.0 for corrosion control. Although a high finished water pH reduces the solubility of lead, it also favors production of THMs as well as reducing the disinfection efficiency of free chlorine. A corrosion control pilot study was performed to assess if a lower finished water pH, in conjunction with a phosphate-based chemical corrosion inhibitor, could offer a more effective overall treatment strategy.

This presentation will present results and conclusions from pilot operation at the Franklin WTP from 2014-2016. The initial phase of the pilot study invested four alternative corrosion control strategies to the existing plant finished water, including non-zinc orthophosphate, a 50%:50% poly:orthophosphate blend, a 70%:30% poly:orthophosphate blend, and increasing alkalinity using sodium bicarbonate. Results included both aqueous lead and copper concentrations from 8-hour standing samples and corrosion rates of metal coupons for copper, lead, steel, and brass. From the pilot testing, it appeared that two of the phosphate-based inhibitor trains performed at least as well as the control of plant finished water in terms of corrosion control protection. The next phase of the pilot study tested the implementation of the new corrosion control strategy on the pilot rack to minimize the dissolution of the existing protective layers along the interior pipe walls while passivating the pipe with the phosphate-based corrosion inhibitor. The results of this testing will help determine an optimum plan for the full-scale implementation. This presentation will highlight the necessary study detail required to change a utility’s optimum corrosion control strategy, especially under the current spotlight on corrosion protection in public water systems.

For more information, please contact the author at cgeohagan@hazenandsawyer.com.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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