Hu J, Dong H, Xu Q, Ling W, Qu J, Qiang Z. Impacts of water quality on the corrosion of cast iron pipes for water distribution and proposed source water switch strategy. Water research. 2017 Oct 31;129:428-435. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.10.065.
Switch of source water may induce “red water” episodes. This study investigated the impacts of water quality on iron release, dissolved oxygen consumption (ΔDO), corrosion scale evolution and bacterial community succession in cast iron pipes used for drinking water distribution at pilot scale, and proposed a source water switch strategy accordingly. Three sets of old cast iron pipe section (named BP, SP and GP) were excavated on site and assembled in a test base, which had historically transported blended water, surface water and groundwater, respectively. Results indicate that an increasing Cl– or SO42- concentration accelerated iron release, but alkalinity and calcium hardness exhibited an opposite tendency. Disinfectant shift from free chlorine to monochloramine slightly inhibited iron release, while the impact of peroxymonosulfate depended on the source water historically transported in the test pipes. The ΔDO was highly consistent with iron release in all three pipe systems. The mass ratio of magnetite to goethite in the corrosion scales of SP was higher than those of BP and GP and kept almost unchanged over the whole operation period. Siderite and calcite formation confirmed that an increasing alkalinity and hardness inhibited iron release. Iron-reducing bacteria decreased in the BP but increased in the SP and GP; meanwhile, sulfur-oxidizing, sulfate-reducing and iron oxidizing bacteria increased in all three pipe systems. To avoid the occurrence of “red water”, a source water switch strategy was proposed based on the difference between local and foreign water qualities.
Vargas IT, Fischer DA, Alsina MA, Pavissich JP, Pastén PA, Pizarro GE.
Copper Corrosion and Biocorrosion Events in Premise Plumbing. Materials (Basel, Switzerland). 2017 Sep 5;10(9). pii: E1036. doi: 10.3390/ma10091036.
Corrosion of copper pipes may release high amounts of copper into the water, exceeding the maximum concentration of copper for drinking water standards. Typically, the events with the highest release of copper into drinking water are related to the presence of biofilms. This article reviews this phenomenon, focusing on copper ingestion and its health impacts, the physicochemical mechanisms and the microbial involvement on copper release, the techniques used to describe and understand this phenomenon, and the hydrodynamic effects. A conceptual model is proposed and the mathematical models are reviewed.
Trueman BF, Sweet GA, Harding MD, Estabrook H, Bishop DP, Gagnon GA. Galvanic Corrosion of Lead by Iron (Oxyhydr)oxides: Potential Impacts on Drinking Water Quality. Environmental science and technology. 2017 May 30. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01671.
Lead exposure via drinking water remains a significant public health risk; this study explored the potential effects of upstream iron corrosion on lead mobility in water distribution systems. Specifically, galvanic corrosion of lead by iron (oxyhydr)oxides was investigated. Coupling an iron mineral cathode with metallic lead in a galvanic cell increased lead release by 531 µg L-1 on average-a nine-fold increase over uniform corrosion in the absence of iron. Cathodes were composed of spark plasma sintered Fe3O4 or α-Fe2O3 or field-extracted Fe3O4 and α-FeOOH. Orthophosphate immobilized oxidized lead as insoluble hydroxypyromorphite, while humic acid enhanced lead mobility. Addition of a humic isolate increased lead release due to uniform corrosion by 81 µg L-1 and-upon coupling lead to a mineral cathode-release due to galvanic corrosion by 990 µg L-1. Elevated lead in the presence of humic acid appeared to be driven by complexation, with 208Pb and UV254size-exclusion chromatograms exhibiting strong correlation under these conditions (R2average = 0.87). A significant iron corrosion effect was consistent with field data: lead levels after lead service line replacement were greater by factors of 2.3 – 4.7 at sites supplied by unlined cast iron distribution mains compared with the alternative, lined ductile iron.
Baig SA, Lou Z, Baig MA, Qasim M, Shams DF, Mahmood Q, Xu X. Assessment of tap water quality and corrosion scales from the selected distribution systems in northern Pakistan. Environ Monit Assess. 2017 Apr;189(4):194. doi: 10.1007/s10661-017-5907-5.
Corrosion deposits formed within drinking water distribution systems deteriorate drinking water quality and resultantly cause public health consequences. In the present study, an attempt was made to investigate the concurrent conditions of corrosion scales and the drinking water quality in selected water supply schemes (WSS) in districts Chitral, Peshawar, and Abbottabad, northern Pakistan. Characterization analyses of the corrosion by-products revealed the presence of α-FeOOH, γ-FeOOH, Fe3O4, and SiO2 as major constituents with different proportions. The constituents of all the representative XRD peaks of Peshawar WSS were found insignificant as compared to other WSS, and the reason could be the variation of source water quality. Well-crystallized particles in SEM images indicated the formation of dense oxide layer on corrosion by-products. A wider asymmetric vibration peak of SiO2 appeared only in Chitral and Abbottabad WSS, which demonstrated higher siltation in the water source. One-way ANOVA analysis showed significant variations in pH, turbidity, TDS, K, Mg, PO4, Cl, and SO4 values, which revealed that these parameters differently contributed to the source water quality. Findings from this study suggested the implementation of proper corrosion prevention measures and the establishment of international collaboration for best corrosion practices, expertise, and developing standards.
Zheng M, He C, He Q. Fate of free chlorine in drinking water during distribution in premise plumbing. Ecotoxicology. 2015 Sep 25.
Free chlorine is a potent oxidizing agent and has been used extensively as a disinfectant in processes including water treatment. The presence of free chlorine residual is essential for the prevention of microbial regrowth in water distribution systems. However, excessive levels of free chlorine can cause adverse health effects. It is a major challenge to maintain appropriate levels of free chlorine residual in premise plumbing. As the first effort to assessing the fate of chlorine in premise plumbing using actual premise plumbing pipe sections, three piping materials frequently used in premise plumbing, i.e. copper, galvanized iron, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), were investigated for their performance in maintaining free chlorine residual. Free chlorine decay was shown to follow first-order kinetics for all three pipe materials tested. The most rapid chlorine decay was observed in copper pipes, suggesting the need for higher chlorine dosage to maintain appropriate levels of free chlorine residual if copper piping is used. PVC pipes exhibited the least reactivity with free chlorine, indicative of the advantage of PVC as a premise plumbing material for maintaining free chlorine residual. The reactivity of copper piping with free chlorine was significantly hindered by the accumulation of pipe deposits. In contrast, the impact on chlorine decay by pipe deposits was not significant in galvanized iron and PVC pipes. Findings in this study are of great importance for the development of effective strategies for the control of free chlorine residual and prevention of microbiological contamination in premise plumbing.
A condominium association served by Moulton Niguel Water District has sued the District over copper pipe leaks that owners believe are caused by corrosive water and that have led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. Water is supplied to the district by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California which has been using chloramines since 1984.
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Here’s an interesting twist. Two water systems are being sued because of leaks in copper pipes in the home. The developers claim that the leaks were caused by chloramines in the water served by the water districts, which purchase water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and resell it to their customers. So whose problem is it? The water district? Metropolitan, which adds the chloramines? or both?
The article quotes a professor from Virginia, who is active in activist groups and has been a key driver (and expert witness if I recall correctly) against water systems for lead-related issues (e.g., District of Colombia). Certainly he is one expert, but perhaps not the expert on corrosion issues.