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Holistic System Analsyis

truVUE offers a holistic approach to system analysis, with the goal of helping you understand the state of your piping systems throughout your facilities.

Useful Life Predictions

In analyzing your piping system, we not only determine its current state, but we make forward looking projections to determine the approximate rate of corrosion so that you can better plan for the system updates in a proactive rather than reactive fashion.

WATER TESTING

Orange Man Detective with Magnifying Glass

The purpose of the water sampling was to perform laboratory analysis on the water samples in an effort to identify the presence of organisms which would contribute to microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC).  In short, MIC deteriorates pipes, tanks or vessel surfaces by pitting or tunneling, thereby penetrating their cross-sections. The formation of slime or tuberculation nodules can cause blockages or reduce flow. Low flow or stagnant conditions make systems more susceptible to microbial growth.  In older systems, problems occur when there is a change of water source, water quality, new materials of construction, or new operating conditions.  While MIC is often attributed to corrosion problems, it is only one form of corrosion, or more importantly, one influence on several modes of corrosion.

To understand the causes and effects of MIC, it is necessary to understand both the metallurgical aspects of corrosion and the microbial aspects of MIC-related bacteria. In simple terms, MIC will initiate and propagate corrosion processes in pipes, fittings, tanks, and vessels, due in part to the presence and activities of specific types of bacterial microbes. The bacteria grows, and in the process produce byproducts (waste) corrosive to metals, such as mild steel, stainless steel, copper and copper alloys, and galvanized steel. The byproducts include alkalis, acids, and reducing agents such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfides, sulfuric acid, and organic acids.


In order for microbes to grow and cause microbiologically influenced corrosion, the bacteria plus four other environmental conditions must be present: metals (host location), nutrients, water, and oxygen (although certain types of bacteria need only very small amounts of oxygen). When all of these environmental conditions are present, then microbial growth will occur. When the nutrients in the system are consumed, the microbes may become dormant. When the environmental condition (i.e. nutrients) is replenished, the microbial growth resumes.  The predominant types of bacteria found in association with MIC related corrosion are outlined in the table below:

TYPE OF BACTERIA

DESCRIPTION

Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria (SRB)

Bacteria that convert sulfate ions to sulfides (including hydrogen sulfide). These bacteria can grow in low oxygen environments. SRB require sufficient organic nutrients.

Iron-Related Bacteria (IRB)

Bacteria that converts soluble iron ions (ferrous) to insoluble iron ions (ferric). The ferric iron is deposited on the piping or system surfaces, creating deposits that are host sites where other bacteria can grow.

Low Nutrient Bacteria (LNB)

Microbes/bacteria that grow in environments, such as potable water, with very low concentrations of nutrients. LNB growth will form slimes and deposits which creates host sites where other MIC bacteria can grow.

Acid Producing Bacteria

Bacteria which are microorganisms capable of producing organic acids. Organic acids are an important factor in microbiologically influenced corrosion

Anaerobic Bacteria

Bacteria that grow in the absence of abundant free oxygen. These bacteria can grow in environments with as little as 50 parts per billion (ppb) dissolved oxygen.

Aerobic Bacteria

Bacteria that grow in the presence of free oxygen.