Steel is an indispensable and versatile material in municipal bulk water infrastructure, where pipelines traverse many kilometres of remote and demanding terrain to meet the potable water needs of South African communities. By Keitumetse Moumakoe, director, ASTPM used extensively in the construction industry for many years, steel pipes are viewed as a stronger and more flexible alternative to iron- and plasticbased pipes. They have several advantages over other metals and compounds that could be used in pipe works, and provide the most durable presence when used in water pipelines. With the correct repair and maintenance in place, steel pipes should have a lifespan of over 50 years within municipalities.
Steel pipe water mains
A system made up of steel pipe water mains has been a reliable and economically advantageous solution for drinking water supply for decades. The water mains and fittings can be customised according to the technical specifications of municipalities.
Maintenance and corrosion protection
The maintenance and preservation of carbon steel pipelines in metros and municipalities is of paramount significance in ensuring continued and reliable water service delivery. These assets, like any infrastructure, are exposed to the elements of nature that present challenges. Carbon steel pipelines are inherently vulnerable to corrosion, but the pipeline segments will not necessarily corrode at the same rate in every circumstance. Common factors that increase carbon steel corrosion include pitting corrosion, which happens when chips or cavities form on the outer surface of the steel pipeline, and exposure to moisture, grime, chemicals and saltheavy air.