Penetron Provides a Safe and Secure Concrete Reservoir with its Waterproofing and Protection Admixture

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Penetron Admix plays an instrumental role in providing fully waterproofed and corrosion protected concrete water reservoirs holding 14 million gallons of drinking water for the City of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

After the New York terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001, the newly formed Department of Homeland Security quickly identified that the protection of potable water was critical to defense and security. Under a Presidential directive, Homeland Security developed the National Infrastructure Protection Plan in May 2007 including the Water Sector Specific Plan which clearly identified open finished water storage tanks as one of the primary areas of concern stating that "treated water stored in large uncovered reservoirs may be vulnerable to attack and contamination."

The Town of Harrisonburg, VA, located on banks of the Shenendoah River, had long realized one of its weaknesses in the public water drinking supply as “A significant volume of exposed treated water in the city’s uncovered distribution reservoir.” In fact 16 million gallons of finished drinking water was stored in the city’s largest reservoir located at the highest point in town on Tower Street in an uncovered- open reservoir.

The open reservoir was constructed during the early 1920’s at the elevated location to serve the townspeople with drinking water and also meet the water needs of the local developing industries. The concrete lined reservoir covered over 2 ½ acres and held almost two thirds of the city’s water reserves. When the time came to address the security concerns of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the prestigious firm of Wiley/Wilson was selected to engineer a new tank facility that would meet both current regulations. Their integrated design for the new 8 million gallon tank, measuring over 140 foot in diameter and over 70 feet high, was able to provide the city with several great benefits including a highly secure storage facility, improved hydraulic capabilities to several pressure zones served by the tank, and a layout that allowed the tank to be placed inside the footprint of the original concrete lined reservoir with room for 3 future tanks.

The contract to build this tank was awarded to the Crom Corporation out of Gainesville, FL. Their design incorporates leading edge tank technology coupled and backed by 50 years of experience of placing almost 3,600 tanks in service. The tank wall design on this project included several layers of shotcrete sandwiching a steel diaphragm wall and prestressing cables which serve as the core of the wall.

Wiley/Wilson specified that the shotcrete (pneumatically placed concrete) on the project was to be treated with Penetron Admix for both waterproofing and corrosion protection to the tank's inner, steel diaphragm. This would provide the beneficial characteristics of a steel walled tank and the long service life of Penetron Admix Enhanced Shotcrete (PAES) application. Crom and Wiley and Wilson had previously worked together to engineer and construct two other tanks, a 5 million and a 1 million water tank, to serve other areas of the city. These tanks also received the Penetron Admix protection.

"Penetron's system of concrete protection is NSF 61 certified. This means it has undergone a rigorous testing and certification process to confirm it safe for use in potable water applications." states Christopher Chen, Director, North American Sales & Marketing for ICS Penetron International. "In this age when safety to our drinking water supply is of concern, it is important to know that products such as Penetron meet these high standards so as not to exacerbate the potential of contamination. Penetron has been used in aquariums, water and wastewater facilities and numerous other forms of containment structures for this very purpose."

ICS Penetron International, Ltd., is a leading manufacturer of integral crystalline waterproofing and repair products for concrete with a manufacturing and service network that spans more than 60 countries. For more information on Penetron products, please visit our website at or contact Ann Martucci at 631-941-9700 or email at


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