International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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Pipeline Corrosion:Harmful impact on water

Idea by Rita Khare   |   added on Nov 24, 2011 08:24AM Suggestion Suggestion
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The problem of corrosion of pipes and solders in water distribution system is alarming. Corrosion products make water unsafe for drinking. Proper public health surveillance and chemical analysis of water is required .If lead ,iron and copper are found to be present in water an alternative material for pipe should be used.

Lead ,copper and sometimes zinc may be present in drinking water as a consequence of the use of these metals in pipework in public ,commercial and domestic buildings.The corrosivity of water is a function of many factors including pH , low alkalinity ,chloride and sulfate ions ,sediment and microbial activity. It is necessary to manage the problem of corrosion in distribution system.

In villages and rural areas iron hand pumps can give rise to discoloured water if they are corroded by water that is too acidic. In such situations an alternative material for pipe should be used. Lead frequently occurs at concentrations greater than the guideline value in situations where lead pipes and solders are present. Lead is also a component of brass, bronze and gun metal which are used in fittings in plumbing system.

Targeted replacement of lead pipes is required to control corrosion of lead and to reduce the possibility that lead will dissolve in water.The use of lead solders should also be avoided for applications involving drinking water.

Topic: environment, water quality Audience: students, general public, teachers
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