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The City of Phoenix has installed over 40 miles of unlined concrete sewers ranging in size from 24- to 90-inches in diameter. These large diameter sewers are subject to flat slopes and warm temperatures which favor the conversion of hydrogen sulfide into corrosive sulfuric acid. Most of the pipelines are key interceptors where there is a high consequence of failure and all of the pipelines are over 35 years old. In order to maintain system operation, the City has proactively investigated these sewers since 1992 to assess the condition and identify rehabilitation needs.

This paper identifies the unique conditions being experienced by the City's collection system and the impact rapid corrosion is having on the life of the system. Based on ten years of in depth investigation, the primary issues include:

Failures types including uniform crown corrosion, springline corrosion, and invert erosion

Case study investigations identifying springline corrosion in excess of one inch of concrete loss per year

Extreme sewage composition and operating conditions

Primary causes for the increased rate of corrosion

Effect that different pipe manufacturing methods have on corrosion and pipeline deterioration

Methods implemented to inhibit corrosion and extend pipe life including chemical additional, crown spray, and sewer rehabilitation

Failure modes and catastrophic failures

Due to the rapid deterioration that is being experienced, the City has accelerate their rehabilitation program to include lining of all unlined concrete pipelines over the next three years at an estimated cost of 140 million.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2003

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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