Water and Wastewater

Corrosion in the Water and Wastewater Industry

water wastewater

Both public and private U.S. water and wastewater agencies have infrastructure assets ranging in value from millions to billions of dollars. Assets include dams, aqueducts, tunnels, transmission/collection pipelines, water and wastewater treatment plants, pumping plants, distribution pipelines and storage reservoirs. Many of these facilities are constructed with materials such as concrete, steel, cast iron, ductile iron, stainless steel, brass, copper, and other materials all subject to corrosion attack, which comes with a price tag.

The Cost of Corrosion Study1 showed that the total annual estimated direct cost of corrosion in the U.S. is a staggering $276 billion—approximately 3.1% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In particular, the water and wastewater sector accounted for approximately $36 billion, or 14%, of that total. A few years later, based on a GDP of $450 billion, the cost of corrosion in the water and wastewater sector was $58.5 billion.

A more recent IMPACT (International Measures of Prevention, Application, and Economics of Corrosion Technologies) study2 found that worldwide, the cost of corrosion is $2.5 trillion, and that replacing over one million miles (1.6 million km) of corroded water and wastewater pipelines would cost $2.1 trillion. Thirty to fifty percent of this cost could be avoided through proper design, operation, and corrosion prevention.

These studies also revealed that although corrosion management has improved over the past several decades, the U.S. must find more and better ways to encourage, support, and implement optimal corrosion control practices.

1 U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 2002

2 Initiated by NACE International (now AMPP), 2016


SP0100-2019 Cathodic Protection to Control External Corrosion of Concrete Pressure Pipelines and Mortar-Coated Steel Pipelines for Water or Wastewater Service

SP21424-2018, Alternating Current Corrosion on Cathodically Protected Pipelines: Risk Assessment, Mitigation, and Monitoring

SP0196-2020 (formerly RP0196), Galvanic Anode Cathodic Protection of Internal Submerged Surfaces of Steel Water Storage Tanks

SP0388-2018 Impressed Current Cathodic Protection of Internal Submerged Surfaces of Carbon Steel Water Storage Tanks

SP0572-2007 (formerly RP0572), Design, Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Impressed Current Deep Anode Beds

TM0108-2012, Testing of Catalyzed Titanium Anodes for Use in Soils or Natural Waters

TM173-1984, Methods for Determining Water Quality for Subsurface Injection Using Membrane Filters

SSPC-Guide 27-2019, Recommended Performance Properties for Liquid-Applied Organic Polymeric Coatings and Linings for Concrete Structures in Municipal Wastewater Facilities

Standards Development Committees

AMPP SC 03 External Coatings - Immersed

Develops and maintains standards, guides, and reports for external coatings of materials, equipment, and structures in direct contact with salt water, fresh water, or soil environments.

AMPP SC 18 Water & Wastewater

Develops and maintains standards, guides, and reports related to the production or use of steam, water, and wastewater in all industrial systems.

AMPP SC 19 Maritime

Develops and maintains standards, guides, and reports for corrosion prevention and control for ships, structures and equipment, and any assets that touch a body of water.

AMPP SC 04 Linings & Internal Coatings

Develops and maintains standards, guides and reports for linings and internal coatings commonly used in specialized internal environments such as steel tanks, pipelines, and vessels to protect from corrosion and/or chemical attack.

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Technical Communities of Interest (TCI)

Groups of AMPP members and nonmembers who come together online for the purpose of furthering a common cause by sharing wisdom, knowledge, information, and/or data for a particular technical area.

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Water Treatment TCI
Above Ground and Buried Service TCI
Immersion and Buried Service Coatings TCI
Floating Roof TCI