Antimicrobial Additives to combat MIC

Manhole with rungs and channel opening

As the most durable material available for buried infrastructure, concrete is widely used for catch basins, wet and dry vaults, and for sewer systems. These pieces are made to last – up to 100 years in some cases. Concrete is stronger than plastic, resistant to rust, and repels animal infestations.

However, if conditions are just right, there are times when concrete sewer lines can be attacked from the inside. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is created when stagnant sewage in the line reaches a certain temperature. Not only does it unleash a terrible odor – think rotten eggs – it can also be corrosive to concrete.

It’s known as microbial induced corrosion (MIC), and it happens when bacteria is allowed to grow on the concrete. This bacteria is created when the hydrogen sulfide interacts with moisture to create an acid-generating bacteria. Other conditions need to be present as well but suffice it to say, it can be a devastating mixture to concrete and steel alike.

Antimicrobial Additives

Used either during the mixing or after the pieces have been created, antimicrobial additives make the surface of the concrete inhospitable to the bacteria that corrode the concrete. These additives can be poured in during the mixing stage or applied to the finished product.

That can be a more labor-intensive process but is a good solution for manholes that are already created. Colors are also added to the mixtures to differentiate it from pieces that have not been treated with the additives. These additives are becoming necessary in some jurisdictions.

Columbia Precast Products have made it our mission to ensure our customers get the most up-to-date products that meet jurisdictional codes where required. These antimicrobial additives are just the latest material we use to make sure our pieces are in compliance.

For More Information

Interested in learning more about MIC and antimicrobial additives and how they affect your municipal sewage systems? Columbia Precast Products will be conducting a seminar on the subject this summer, if you are interested, email Concrete Sealants, a company that produces these antimicrobial additives will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the product as well.

Every step we take during the manufacturing process, the materials we use, and the equipment in our environmentally-controlled facility is designed to make our concrete pieces as long-lasting as possible. It’s one of the reasons we were the first buried infrastructure company in the U.S. to earn SMaRT Certification.

That means our products are good for our customers as well as the environment. Concrete itself is a very dependable building material. With the introduction of these antimicrobial additives, it just became more so. Contact us today for more information.