Penetron Stops Bacteria-Generated Acid Attacks in Kansas City

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The $22 million expansion and upgrade of the Wolcott wastewater treatment infrastructure in Kansas City, Kansas was completed in November 2021. Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture was specified to ensure the durability of concrete elements exposed to aggressive acids generated by bacteria commonly found in sewer systems.

Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture provides crucial long-term protection from MIC. Our new admixture will ensure the needed durability to the new Wolcott WWTP and minimize the need for future repairs of the concrete structures.

The $22 million expansion and upgrade of the Wolcott wastewater treatment infrastructure in Kansas City, Kansas was completed in November 2021. Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture was specified to ensure the durability of concrete elements exposed to aggressive acids generated by bacteria commonly found in sewer systems.

“Due to the region’s continued population growth and the need to meet increasingly stringent regulatory guidelines for effluent quality, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City had to upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plants with expanded capacity – and improved treatment technology,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group.

The expansion of the Wolcott Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) implemented the AquaNereda® aerobic granular sludge treatment process, a sustainable and cost-effective wastewater treatment technology. Based on the unique characteristics of granular biomass, it uses the robust structure of granules to withstand fluctuations in chemical spikes, load, salt, pH, and toxic shocks. No secondary clarifiers, selectors, separate compartments, or return sludge pumping stations are required, as the biological treatment is accomplished in a single, effective aeration step.

Meeting Growth Projections for Years

The construction of the Wolcott WWTP expansion was carried out in two phases. Initially, a new two million gallon/day (2 MGD) plant was built, with improvements designed to enable expansion to 4 MGD in a follow-up phase over the next 10 years, with a maximum possible capacity of 18 MGD. The plant improvements in the initial phase allowed treatment of average day flows from both the existing Plant 20 and Pump Station 50 service areas, which will meet the projected growth expected over the next several years.

“The project required a robust solution to protect the concrete elements of the new WWTP, which would be exposed to the destructive effects of microbially-induced corrosion (MIC) commonly encountered in sewage systems,” adds Christopher Chen. “Penetron proposed adding our antimicrobial admixture to the concrete mix to prevent MIC from taking place.”

Stopping Microbial-Induced Corrosion (MIC)

Penetron’s local Technical Sales Representative assisted the concrete ready-mix supplier with test batches to ensure the concrete mix met the stringent design specifications.

Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture provides concrete with the much-needed protection from microbial-induced corrosion (MIC), a little-known problem that causes widespread damage to wastewater and sewage-related concrete structures. Concrete sewage systems deteriorate rapidly when hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) found in raw sewage is converted into biogenic sulfuric acid (H2SO4) by thiobacillus bacteria, which causes severe concrete deterioration known as MIC. Penetron’s antimicrobial concrete admixture uses an electro-physical mechanism to destroy the cell-walls of the acid-producing thiobacillus bacteria. Eliminating the bacterial growth on and in the concrete stops the formation of biogenic sulfuric acid. Once the formation of the acid is stopped, MIC cannot take place.

Antimicrobial Protection is Permanent

Added to the concrete mix during batching, much like the well-known PENETRON ADMIX waterproofing admixture, the antimicrobial admixture becomes part of the concrete matrix and is leach resistant. The effectiveness of the antimicrobial admixture is not lessened by repeated contact with bacteria.

“Penetron’s antimicrobial admixture provides crucial long-term protection from MIC,” adds Christopher Chen. “Our new admixture will ensure the needed durability to the new Wolcott WWTP and minimize the need for future repairs of the 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.com or Facebook.com/ThePenetronGroup, email CRDept@penetron.com, or contact the Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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