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

Protecting residents’ water pipeline
Why all the trouble to internally coat the field joints? Like most conscientious pipeline owners, the JEA coated its pipe with high quality epoxy coating. But to meet the project’s goal of a continuous, fresh water supply to customers, corrosion prevention was arguably mandatory, not a luxury. Coating the IFJs was the first and most important step in transforming the pipeline’s weakest link into its most resilient.

Even without corrosion prevention in place, HDD projects have potential failure modes such as drill pipe shearing, hole instability while reaming and seepage from drilling fluid. Citizen concerns range from sink holes to infrastructure failure such as a highway collapsing. Regardless of the risks, once the pipe is strung together, it is highly vulnerable to internal corrosion if the IFJs are not protected also. There are some other reasons for mitigating corrosion.

For the public: Eliminating corrosion in water pipelines is a win-win investment strategy all the way around.
• The environmental impact on the ecosystem and surrounding neighborhoods should always be negligible. Eliminating leaks at the pipeline’s weakest joint ensures minimal impact;
• Water quality will diminish and leaks increase when internal corrosion is abundant; and
• Decreased water production due to corrosion holes leads to reduced water pressure and increased customer complaints.

For civil engineers: The importance of the Hazen Williams coefficient cannot be understated.
• The higher the coefficient, the smoother the pipe surface and the less energy required to move a volume from “point a” to “point b.” The result is less required energy, less repair and less rehabilitation costs to the pipeline; and
• The smoother the pipe surface the faster the media can flow and stay in a laminar state.

Ultimately, the result is a better product to the consumer, lower OPEX for the owner and coating the IFJs helps attain these desired results.


CRTS, (918) 877-5210,
Michels Corporation, (920) 924-4300,

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