Abstract

Web-based remote monitoring is widely used in the oil and gas pipeline industry to ensure corrosion protection systems are functioning reliably. The water and wastewater industries are not subject to the same regulatory mandates governing the oil and gas industry but are no less a part of the critical infrastructure. As these systems age and fail, the effects go beyond cost and inconvenience into potentially significant public health and safety issues. The water and wastewater industries deal with different challenges than the oil and gas pipeline industry. The budgets available for equipment and personnel for corrosion management are significantly lower. The materials requiring corrosion protection are much more varied, and there are typically less personnel within the organization trained to meet and overcome the challenges of implementing and maintaining effective corrosion prevention systems. This paper shows some case studies of municipal water and wastewater systems that successfully use web-based monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the corrosion protection systems, enabling the personnel resources available in the organization to focus on proactive, preventive maintenance and system improvement.

Other than some municipal water systems in the western US, corrosion prevention and the regular maintenance of the upkeep and repair of corrosion prevention systems is not widely seen in the water industry. Municipal utilities suffer from budget constraints, lack of experienced and well-trained personnel, and corrosion challenges that differ from those on typical oil or gas pipelines due to material differences, etc. Municipalities in areas of the US where water is considered more valuable than simply a convenient commodity have focused more on proactive pipeline integrity than have municipalities in the US as a whole. One result of this is a need to provide a few trained personnel within an organization with the data necessary to focus their efforts on preventing corrosion issues rather than reacting to pipeline failures. Remote monitoring provides a reliable and cost-effective means through which that critical data can be provided to the proper personnel.

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