Cape Girardeau County Stops Microbially-Induced Corrosion with Penetron Concrete Treatment

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Completion of the Sewer District Wastewater Plant and Collection System in October 2022 caps off a decade-long effort to improve the quality of wastewater treatment in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture provides permanent protection for the lift station’s wet well structures from microbially-induced corrosion, which can rapidly compromise and disable concrete structures.

Thanks to ease of use and attractive cost, Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture provided the long-term protection from MIC that the general contractor needed.

Completion of the Sewer District Wastewater Plant and Collection System in October 2022 caps off a decade-long effort to improve the quality of wastewater treatment in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture provides permanent protection for the lift station’s wet well structures from microbially-induced corrosion, which can rapidly compromise and disable concrete structures.

The Cape Girardeau County sewage collection project in southeastern Missouri has been under development by the Cape Girardeau County Sewer District and Strickland Engineering for almost 10 years. The $19.3 million project has now consolidated several smaller sewer systems and a series of septic tanks into a centralized sewage collection and treatment system located in Fruitland, Missouri, north of the city of Cape Girardeau, just west of the Mississippi River. The system will be fully operational once all connections are completed by October 2022.

The construction of the new wastewater collection and treatment system comprised:

  • 30 miles of gravity sewer lines
  • 13 miles of sanitary force main sewer lines
  • 16 lift stations
  • Sequencing batch reactor (0.425 MGD capacity)
  • 502 concrete manholes, etc.

Stopping Microbially-Induced Corrosion
“The general contractor, Carstensen Contracting, needed a robust solution to prevent microbially-induced corrosion (MIC) in the concrete structures of the wet well structures of the new lift stations,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “We suggested Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture as a solution to the problem.”

Little-known beyond the construction industry, MIC is a widespread problem that causes billions of dollars in damage to wastewater and sewage related concrete structures every year. These underground concrete sewage systems can deteriorate rapidly when exposed to thiobacillus bacteria that convert hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S), found in raw sewage, into biogenic sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which eats away the cement paste of the concrete matrix, potentially exposing the embedded steel reinforcement to corrosion when exposed to water, oxygen, possibly CO2, and chlorides.

“Such a process can rapidly lead to the severe concrete deterioration known as MIC, which is often the cause of catastrophic corrosion failures in concrete structures,” adds Christopher Chen.

One Application for Permanent Protection
Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture prevents microbial-induced corrosion (MIC) by using an electro-physical mechanism to destroy the cell walls of the acid-producing bacteria. Eliminating the bacterial growth on and in concrete consistently stops the formation of biogenic sulfuric acid, preventing damage caused by MIC.

Penetron worked with SEMO Ready-Mix, the ready-mix concrete supplier, to add Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture to the concrete mix during batching, much like the well-known PENETRON ADMIX crystalline waterproofing admixture. The antimicrobial admixture is permanent – it forms part of the concrete matrix and is leach resistant; repeated contact with bacteria does not lessen the effectiveness of the admixture.

“Thanks to ease of use and attractive cost, Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture provided the long-term protection from MIC that the general contractor needed,” adds Christopher Chen. “Our new admixture will ensure the needed durability to the concrete and minimize the need for future repairs of the treated wet well concrete structures.”

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs, and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives, and distribution channels.

For more information on Penetron waterproofing solutions, please visit penetron(dot)com or Facebook(dot)com/ThePenetronGroup, email CRDept(at)penetron(dot)com or contact the Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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