Groundwater Corrosion Needs Better Understanding

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Corrosion or the tendency for corrosion to occur is not a regulated water quality parameter.

By Michael J. Schnieders, PG, PH-GW

Per NASA, corrosion can be defined as the degradation of a material due to a reaction with its environment. Degradation can be physical deterioration or weakening of the material and at a minimum, releases components (such as iron) into the surrounding environment (e.g. water flow).

Many of us in the groundwater industry have long argued corrosion is a more significant problem than the water industry as a whole recognizes. For years, we’ve had to face growing costs to treat iron at the surface while well construction projects are pushed to a cheaper and cheaper budget. Iron, one of the more common elements of concern in produced water quality, is more often a problem resulting from corrosion of the well structure than it is from the aquifer.

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