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Protecting Filter Gallery Pipes for Water Treatment Plant

When rust, corrosion and coating system failure became apparent on pipes in the filter galleries of the Lafayette Utilities Systems (LUS) water treatment plant, a rehabilitation plan was developed. One of the most important aspects of this plan was to prepare the carbon steel surfaces and create the proper anchor profile for the new coating system. Depending on the severity of the rust and corrosion on various pipe sections, the specifications called for either near white metal blast cleaning or commercial blast cleaning.

Sponge-Jet’s Silver 30 Sponge™ Media was chosen as the preferred abrasive blast media, proving once again that sponge media is an environmentally friendly, efficient and cost effective alternative to traditional abrasive blast media, such as coal slag.

Protecting the Water Supply

The water treatment pipes are located in an area referred to as the filter galleries. This is the area of the plant where the different stages of processed drinking water are split and sent to the next stage in the treatment process. It is also where most of the valves and actuators are located.

According to Trevor Carriere, civil engineer for LUS, dust suppression was vital for many reasons, not the least of which was keeping airborne particles from escaping into the drinking water filters that directly feed the city of Lafayette.

Protecting Sensitive Equipment

In addition, using Sponge-Jet materials helped ensure that no airborne particles could find their way into any pumps, motors, valves and actuators. Grit intrusion and rebound damage to these sensitive instruments could lead to downtime for the plant, in the form of premature pump failure, leaky valves and pinhole corrosion in the coating systems of other plant components not uncommon with ordinary abrasive blast media.

Protecting the Environment

This particular LUS water treatment plant is located in the middle of a downtown neighborhood, and the pipes that run throughout the facility sit beneath staff offices. “Protecting the community and our staff is of the utmost importance. We noticed the hazards of using coal slag products, and immediately initiated the AB4 standard during the middle of this particular job.

Moving forward, LUS has mandated that contractors use Sponge-Jet for upcoming and future projects, including water treatment plants and power plants. "The Sponge-Jet process surpassed our expectations,” said Carriere.

Saving Time, Resources and Money

Using Sponge-Jet Silver 30 Sponge Media also saved LUS six days in the surface prep process – the project was completed in 9 days instead of the projected 14 days if using coal slag or other abrasive blast media. There was also no downtime for the plant during the process, and the Sponge-Jet process used significantly less media compared to coal slag.

These factors saved LUS time, money and resources, another reason Sponge-Jet’s sponge media was the right choice for this job and all future LUS projects.

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