Internal Corrosion Prevention ‘HDD’ Style

By Caroline A. Fisher Technical Writer and James A. Huggins Co-Founder/Past President, CRTS Inc. | October 2013, Vol. 68 No. 10

Internal corrosion creates problems wherever it lurks or even flagrantly exists, and with the Floridian Surficial Aquifer System being the sole water provider for Jacksonville, FL, residents, corrosion prevention is absolutely vital.

The Jacksonville Electric Association (JEA) in Duval County, FL, worked with several renowned engineering firms to develop its Total Water Management Program – Segment 2, River Crossing. CRTS Inc. was contracted to apply its corrosion prevention coating service inside and outside the pipe to drastically mitigate corrosion in the pipeline’s notorious weakest link: the internal field joints (IFJs).

This potable and raw water project’s use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) came with public-interest benefits such as minimal surface damage and traffic disruption, minimal environmental impact and other local advantages. These public benefits were matched by the long-term pipeline owner benefits of CRTS’ internal corrosion prevention coating service.

Internal corrosion prevention is a key player in new construction because it greatly improves pipeline longevity, decreases leaks and overall positively impacts the environment, lessening the chances of devastating environmental setbacks. Both the pipe owner and the end user have vested interests in clean water, but the pipe owner has the advantage of designing and building the pipe to prevent corrosion, and in this case, delivering a pure product to the consumer’s tap. Table 1 demonstrates how IFJ coating bridges the common gap between the pipeline owner and the public, especially for this JEA project, one of the longest HDD projects in CRTS’s HDD history. Michels Corporation of Brownsville, WI, was the HDD contractor.

Project challenges, solutions

Compared to most of the 60-plus HDD projects CRTS has robotically coated, the number of JEA river crossing welds was relatively few, but the obstacles were many. The project involved connecting water systems on either side of the St. Johns River. Eight on/off ramps were closed along Arlington Expressway during the coating portion of the project as a pipeline was placed underneath the Mathews Bridge. One of the geographical challenges was the river itself, with a total drop from beginning to end of less than 30 feet, or about one inch per mile, making it one of the “laziest” rivers in the world.

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