Incrustation in Water Pipelines

by Monroe O. Moore,

Serial Information: Journal of the Pipeline Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 1, Pg. 37-48

Document Type: Journal Paper


Results are presented of an inspection of the water supply system of Boulder City, Nevada, with respect to problems caused by bacterial incrustation in portions of the pipelines of the system. Laboratory analysis identified the incrustation as an iron bacteriums Gallionella ferruginea, which feeds on iron and manganese in solution and if uncontrolled, builds up incrustations which reduce the carrying capacity of the pipeline, increases pumping, operation and maintenance costs, provides conditions conducive to corrosion-producing bacteria, and will necessitate the eventual cleaning or replacement of the pipeline. That part of the pipeline lined with coal-tar enamel is in good condition because it is difficult for the bacteria to attach themselves to the smooth lining. The coal-tar enamel lining also resists microbial attack. Analysis of electrical energy costs for pumps indicate that in 1 yr savings in electrical energy costs would exceed the costs of treating the pipe with coal-tar enamel.

Subject Headings: Bacteria | Pipe cleaning | Coal | Water pipelines | Water supply systems | Iron (material) | Pumps | Linings | Nevada | United States

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