Corrosion Issues in Below Ground Utilities And Buried Structures   

by Joseph C. Dean, P.E. and Steve Geusic, P.E., for the Director, Corrosion Policy & Oversight (DCPO), (DASD) [Materiel Readiness]

Updated: 04-06-2022


Although, the word "corrosion" is most often associated with "rust" and the oxidation of other metals, 10 U.S.C. § 2228 defines corrosion as, "the deterioration of a material or its properties due to a reaction of that material with its chemical environment." It is inclusive of the deterioration of all materials, which can be caused through sun exposure (ultraviolet [UV] radiation and heat), mold, wind, and other environmental factors. Soil corrosivity, industrial activity contaminates (sulfides, nitrides, chlorides) and design-oriented factors (dissimilar metals, ponding, crevices, welds, inaccessible voids, material selections) also affect the extent of corrosion on utilities and structures. Environmental Severity Classification (ESC) and micro-environment effects are the primary indicators of the existence and anticipated extent of corrosion risks.

Facilities components affected by corrosion include, but are not limited to pipelines, fuel tanks, pavements, transformers, storage tanks, wharfs and piers, boilers, steam and water lines and associated facilities, petroleum and water distribution lines, sanitary sewers, and buried structures.


This Knowledge Page includes corrosion prevention and control (CPC) insights and information for Below Ground Utilities and Buried Structures and the associated components related to:

  • Water lines and storage
  • Steam distribution systems
  • Storm and wastewater distribution and collection systems
  • Supporting structures (lift stations, manholes)

See the CPC Source - Corrosion Issues in Above Ground Utilities and Related Structures Knowledge Page for insights into those facilities.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with NACE International, the Corrosion Society, show that utilities, which supply gas, water, electricity, and telecommunications services, account for the largest portion of annual corrosion costs. Of these systems, drinking water and sewer systems accounted for the largest portion of the annual corrosion costs. The reliability of utility infrastructure has a huge impact on our daily lives and mission effectiveness. Loss of service impacts health, hygiene and disease control, safety, security and the environment.

The Facilities Corrosion Impacts on Operations and Mission Table  includes the following information on Below Ground Utilities and Buried Structures:

  • Corrosion Deterioration Description: Facilities that are out of sight create a challenge for facility managers. Systems such as cathodic protection must be in place to protect the facility. Leaks and systems failures caused by corrosive soils, chemicals, de-icing, poor construction, dissimilar metal use and design geometrics create a high probability of service interruptions. Corrosion often occurs before it is noticed (see Table 1 for Common Depictions of Corrosion). Conducting an effective Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) program accompanied by good design and quality construction are essential for continuous system responsiveness and helps in the early discovery and resolution of corroded Below Ground Utilities and Related Structures. This requires extensive observation and inspection techniques in that failures are often not visible until the utility is in the failure mode.

  • Factors Contributing to Corrosion: Erosive forces, soil corrosivity, inadequate or malfunctioning cathodic protection systems, internal corrosion (H2S, H2O, microbiologically induced corrosion), condensation, poor design geometrics, poor construction practices, insufficient soil support for buried utilities, dissimilar metal corrosion, water entrapment and intrusion.

  • Operations and Mission Impacts: Buried facilities are essential for supplying power, waste removal, water supply, and natural gas supply. System failures in whole or in part can be hugely disruptive to the mission and create environmental and health and safety concerns. Utility system reliability is critically important.

tables displaying common depictions of corrosion

Table 1: Common Depictions of Corrosion
Photo credit: D, CPO

Below Ground Facilities

Below ground facilities include:

  • Water lines and associated valves, pumps, and treatment
  • Water storage tanks
  • Fuels related facilities (see the POL Storage and Distribution Knowledge Page for a complete description)
  • Support structures
  • Chilled water lines
  • Sewage lift stations
  • Sanitary sewer collection lines
  • Manholes
  • Underground electrical duct banks
  • Industrial waste lines

Design And Durability Issues

Corrosion of utilities can occur on the exterior due to atmospheric effects and submerged conditions such as soil corrosivity. Interior corrosion can severely degrade components such as pipes, conduits, tanks, and vaults. Typical utility components at risk identified in the Vision Point Systems Study: Corrosion Factors in DoD Facilities  (October 2014) include:

  • Carbon steel associated with wastewater (utility building, sewage treatment, sewage lift stations)
  • Piping (steam and condensate piping leaks, water lines deterioration)
  • Sanitary sewer
  • Industrial waste lines

Note that this Study attempted to clarify the LMI Facilities Cost of Corrosion Studies data and report available at that time. Vision Point  attempted to provide an extensive explanation of facilities cost drivers, priorities and impacts, and did an excellent review and assessment with the data available. What is important from their work is that this list of facilities is indicative of the high cost of corrosion for exterior facilities. It provides a good example of why a good Sustainment Management System (SMS) with reliable data collection, consistent data elements, and a good facilities inspection program is essential to keep track of CPC related deficiencies and mitigation. It is impossible to make a good cost-effective decision about facilities sustainment if accurate information is not collected and maintained.

Photos 1 through 7 show the construction, sustainment and corrosion challenges associated with keeping below ground utilities and related structures operational. Each facility and location provide their own challenges. Conduits transporting fluids to treatment plants can be laden with extremely corrosive chemicals and atmospheres, which requires special attention to material selection and systems, operations, and sustainment.

main water line section repair at Fort Hood, Texas

Photo 1: Directorate of Public Works repairs main water line
Source: Staff Sgt. Daniel Herman, III Corps

Environmental Severity Classification (ESC) is explained in the ESC Web Page and can be calculated for the specific location under consideration in the ISO Corrosivity Category Estimation Tool (ICCET) Toolbox. The UFC 1-200-01 DoD Building Code also provides a quick view of specific installation ESC Zone calculations (see appropriate Appendix), although the designer should utilize the ICCET Tool for the most accurate "C" (C1 through C5) classification. If the ESC zone calculation is between C3 and C5, additional CPC material and location specific considerations must be applied. This includes the selection of more corrosion resistant coatings and materials consistent with that ESC Zone.

Identifying the corrosive forces and employment of CPC design strategies include:

  • Selection of appropriate materials
  • Prevention of dissimilar metal corrosion
  • Use of protective coatings, isolators, and corrosion inhibitors
  • Consideration of alternate materials for components proximate to salt water and in areas of high environmental severity
  • Prevention of entrapment of water and moisture intrusion
  • Providing close attention to construction practices that can increase corrosion risks:
    • Monitoring and having approvals for any field modifications and material substitutions
    • Properly storing materials and preventing damage to coatings during storage and installation
    • Ensuring that field cuts and cut edge corrosion are monitored and repaired
    • Elimination of crevices that will retain/pond water and other liquids
    • Reduction of rough and sharp surfaces
    • Ensuring appropriate coating selection and application
    • Quality control and oversight to verify required welds
    • Correctly installing gaskets and other features that would otherwise allow leakage and infiltration into the structure (pipeline, valves, access manhole, cathodic protection (CP) feature)
    • Ensuring that foundations supporting above ground structures are protected from corrosive forces
    • Identification of the internal chemistry and corrosivity in pipes and conduits

Generally, soil resistivity has the greatest impact on corrosion with respect to soil properties and environmental severity conditions. Soils with the poorest drainage, such as clays, and the highest moisture content have lower resistivity values and are generally the most corrosive. Conversely well drained soils like sands and gravels, have higher resistivity and are considered the least corrosive. Backfilling pipe trenches and excavations with sand or gravel improves the long-term protection in corrosive poorly draining soils. Buried metal pipelines and tanks usually suffer from corrosion because of one or more of the following soil conditions:

  • Low Resistivity values
  • High moisture content
  • Low pH values (Acidity)
  • Presence of chlorides, sulfides, and bacteria
  • Differences in soil composition
  • Stray currents

Photo 2: ANG communications Airmen perform infrastructure upgrades at Atlantic City ANG Base
Source: Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht, 177th Fighter Wing - NJ Air National Guard

Attempting to alter the environment in order to reduce the risk of corrosion can be addressed by:

  • Using a select backfill around a buried structure
  • Using corrosion inhibitors
  • Adjusting water chemistry in potable water systems
  • Modifying structures to provide adequate drainage
  • Using organic based deicers in lieu of chloride based salts
  • Relocating sources of stray currents
  • Shielding materials from corrosive forces

Evaluating and utilizing coating mechanisms for protection include the following:

  • Barrier Protection—Protective coatings and linings attempt to isolate the structure from the environment (electrolyte)
  • Cathodic Protection—Some protective coatings have a high loading of fine zinc particles. Once cured, the electrical contact between the particles and underlying steel provides a type of CP
  • Inhibitive Pigments—Some pigments are added to primers to inhibit corrosion at the coating/metal interface

Cathodic Protection

Properly installed and maintained CP systems can reduce life cycle costs by extending a utility's lifecycle. These systems can also reduce the potential liability from premature failure of utilities, such as gas line explosions and jet fuel leaks, while also ensuring the avoidance costs associated with the leaks such as fines, environmental cleanup, remediation and disposal of contaminated soil, and monitoring requirements.

re-routing a water line at Yokota AB, Japan

Photo 3: USAF Civil Engineers & USACE Complete Water Line Installation
Source: Gianna Greben, Headquarters Air Force, Office of the Director of Civil Engineers

Common systems and structures requiring protective coatings and CP regardless of soil or water corrosivity:

  • Natural gas piping and distribution systems
  • Propane distribution systems including metallic components of non-metallic lines
  • Liquid fuel piping and storage systems
  • Oxygen pipelines
  • Fire mains, underground fire protection piping, fire protection water storage tanks
  • Systems with hazardous products and materials
  • Ductile iron pressurized piping under floor (slab on grade)
  • Underground heat distribution and chill water piping in metallic conduit
  • Underground, ground level, and elevated storage tank systems including exterior bottom of on-grade steel water storage tanks
  • Compressed air distribution systems such as air, oxygen, and nitrogen
  • Reinforcing steel in concrete
  • Other systems that may employ CP include potable water distribution systems, sewage lift stations, sewage tanks, and effluent pipelines

Coatings and CP should most always be used in conjunction with each other for buried or submerged structures. Both are required by law for Underground Storage Tanks (UST) and certain Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant (POL) lines. For additional information on CP see DoD Continuing Education Courses (login account required) and Cathodic Protection Knowledge Area. See also CP assessment, design, installation and sustainment (see UFC 3-570-01 Cathodic Protection and UFC 3-570-06 Operation And Maintenance: Cathodic Protection Systems).

Corrosion rates can be greatly accelerated when two or more dissimilar metals are in contact with each other, particularly when they are buried or submerged. Galvanic corrosion can effectively be eliminated or minimized by:

  • Using as much of the same metal as possible
  • Choosing metals close together in the galvanic series
  • Placing a protective insulator between the two dissimilar metals
  • Keeping the cathodic area small in relation to the anode area; for instance, bolts or screws of stainless steel for fastening aluminum sheets, but not the reverse
  • Using special coatings on the metals, ensuring not to coat the anodes
  • Providing CP is the facility is buried or immersed

Considering coating mechanisms for protection which may include the following:

  • Barrier Protection—Protective coatings and linings attempt to isolate the structure from the environment (electrolyte)
  • Cathodic Protection (CP)—Some protective coatings have a high loading of fine zinc particles. Once cured, the electrical contact between the particles and underlying steel provides a type of CP
  • Inhibitive Pigments—Some pigments are added to primers to inhibit corrosion at the coating/metal interface

Note: UFC 3-190-06 Protective Coatings and Paints and various Unified Facility Guide Specifications (UFGS) provide detailed information on coating requirements and guidance for various components and systems

In the case of internal corrosion of a pipe, the anode, cathode, and conductive material are all found in the pipe wall while the electrolyte is the fluid transmitted within the pipe. For water distribution utilities the key parameters affecting internal pipe corrosion are:

  • Water quality and composition (pH, Alkalinity, Dissolved Oxygen)
  • Ferric scale
  • Flow conditions
  • Biological activity
  • Disinfectants
  • Corrosion inhibitors

The majority of sanitary sewer system corrosion and rehabilitation is attributed to Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Corrosion. Low velocity or stagnant conditions of the wastewater depletes dissolved oxygen causing hydrogen sulfide gas to be released into the air in the sewer pipe or structure. Specifically, bacteria convert sulfates in the sewage into sulfides. Which make their way to the surface of the sewage and release into the sewer atmosphere as H2S gas. Bacterial action on the top of the pipe or structure converts H2S gas to sulfuric acid which causes corrosion in the crown of the pipe (see Figure 1 and Photo 4 below).

side by side images, left diagram of concrete surface cover failure, and right underground conduit cover failure

Figure 1 and Photo 4: Concrete Surface Cover Failure diagram and image of Underground Conduit Cover Failure
Source: Irene Smith, Defense Logistics Agency

The Marianas Navy and Marine Corps Design and Construction Standards (MDACS), lists corrosion related guidance for corrosion in general and specifically for utility systems and exterior structures. Guam's hot humid climate requires special design, knowledge, material selection, mechanical design and construction methods to prevent corrosion problems, structural failure, and moisture problems. Absent careful attention to these details, costly repairs and loss of use critical facilities will occur while repairs and mitigation actions are being performed. Photo 5 illustrates the challenges of designing, construction and sustaining above and below ground facilities with complex transition points.

Photo 5: New pipeline revitalizes Guam fuel infrastructure
Photo Credit: Denmarsh Photography, Inc.

While the following guidance is required in Guam for ESC Zones 4 and 5, designers, engineers and sustainers can gain understanding of what is required under those conditions and apply them to local situations where similar ESC Zones exist. MDACS guidance for Guam construction and sustainment includes:

  • Material selection is key to success in hot humid design
  • Exterior material coatings and surfaces must resist mold and moisture penetration and be self-cleaning through rainfall
  • All surfaces of materials shall be sloped and drained to prevent standing water
  • Isolate dissimilar materials to prevent galvanic action
  • Reinforced concrete is the structural material to be used unless otherwise indicated. Specific guidance on the use of ASTM A706 and A615 steel is provided
  • Exterior metal framing, fasteners, and connections shall use properly selected stainless steel (or equal) corrosion protection
  • Provide protective coatings and cathodic protection for buried metallic fuel or hazardous waste storage tanks and associated pipelines
  • All steel water structures shall have a protective coating system, which prevents the current from flowing between the metal and electrolyte, and an impressed-current cathodic protection system
  • Unless specified otherwise, all runs of metallic pipes of 1000 feet or longer shall be provided with cathodic protection if the field conditions indicate that such protection is required. If cathodic protection is provided, polyethylene encasement shall not be provided. Check if the existing waterline that the project will be connected to has a cathodic protection system or provisions for such a system, and for existing impressed current systems in the vicinity of any new waterline. Design the connection point and new waterlines accordingly.

See the following CPC Knowledge pages for additional facilities specific information:

Designers, engineers and sustainers have an essential responsibility to ensure that the facility that is designed and constructed meets life cycle expectations. Providing good CPC for these utilities and structures is a big undertaking. See the Relevant Criteria Section below for more insights.

Relevant Criteria Highlights

The following is a representative list of some specific applicable UFC and UFGS and their highlights. For a more complete list of resources see the "Relevant Codes, Standards, and Guidelines" Section at the end of this page.

  • UFC 1-200-01 DoD Building Code, provides very specific guidance for design, construction and sustainment actions related to CPC, especially in corrosion-prone locations. Very specific guidance is provided for buried structures and systems and require a higher level of protection. See below quoted content:

    • Provide design detailing, and use materials, systems, components, and coatings that are durable and minimize the need to preventative and corrective maintenance over the life cycle of a facility.
    • Exterior exposed metallic elements at a location with an ESC of C3, C4, or C5.
    • Exterior exposed nonmetallic elements at a location with an ESC of C4 or C5.
    • Locations where microenvironmental factors (for example, prevailing winds, ventilation, waterfront environments, industrial emissions, deicing salt application, possible chemical splash/spillage, adverse weather events such as flooding or wind-driven rain, and penetrations of the building envelope) may create a locally corrosive environment regardless of ESC.
    • Humid locations identified in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1 as climate zones 0A, 1A, 2A, 3A, 3C, 4C, and 5C.
    • Protect water and wastewater systems, fire water systems, and other piping from internal and external corrosion. Design factors include water quality and composition (for example, pH, alkalinity, and dissolved oxygen), ferric scale, flow conditions, biological activity, and the presence of disinfectants and corrosion inhibitors.
    • For buried or submerged structures and systems, include a combination of CP systems, protective coatings, proper material selection, encasement, or the methods for overall corrosion protection.
    • For buried structures or systems, design for the corrosivity of the soil, including soil pH, resistivity, moisture content, and presence of chlorides, sulfides and bacteria. Design for differences in soil composition, stray electrical currents, and effects of connections of new existing structures.
    • For immersed structure, consider the corrosivity of the water (primarily influenced by salinity, but also affected by pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, current, and microbiological activity).
    • Tidal and splash zones will experience higher corrosion than continuously immersed or atmospherically exposed zones.
    • For submerged or partially submerged structures, account for differences in corrosion potential associated with each zone (for example, atmospheric. Splash, tidal, submerged, and subsoil).
    • Appendix ESC for DoD Locations, identifies the ESC Zone for each of the DoD installations around the world, which then drives the selection of the types of materials and processes that should be used for corrosion-prone locations.
    • UFC 1-300-02 Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS) Format Standard defines standards for the use of UFGS. Requires when the selection of a material, component, or system for corrosion prevention, life cycle cost effectiveness, or durability depends on the location, application, conditions, or atmospheric and chemical environment. In the notes, provide direction on identifying and selecting those variables. Use International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9223 and Environmental Severity Classification (ESC) factors, to help specify when to use materials, coatings, and other design elements in each project location or atmospheric environment. Additionally, provide direction on what item to use based on other relative criteria such as soil corrosivity, ultraviolet exposure, solar radiation, biological, or other factors causing deterioration of a material or its properties because of a reaction of that material with its chemical environment.

    • UFC 3-190-06 Protective Coatings and Paints provides requirements and technical guidance for the effective use of paint-type coatings to protect common materials such as metal, concrete, pavements, gypsum board and wooden structures at military activities from deterioration. Requires paints and coatings that are durable and minimize the need for preventative and corrective maintenance over the expected service life of the component or system. Note that this is a significant update from previous versions. Defines coating systems for specific uses. Common systems and structures requiring protective coatings specific for that use:

      • Steel Storage Tanks (Water, Fuel, Liquids)
      • Steel Distribution Lines (Fuel, Water, Liquid)
      • Concrete Fuel Tanks
    • UFC 3-230-01 Water Storage and Distribution provides requirements for typical storage, distribution and transmission systems for domestic water, fire protection and non-potable water for the Department of Defense (DoD). It specifically addresses corrosion in the context of soils, materials and construction, composites tanks, and coatings. Cathodic Protection (CP) is discussed. For corrosive soils, select materials, coatings, or cathodic protection systems to protect from external corrosion. Explicit approval by the government is required prior to providing a CP system on a buried pipeline. Requires a geotechnical evaluation for soil corrosivity when existing operating records, visual observations, inspections or testing indicate a need for corrosion control.

    • UFC 3-230-02 O&M: Water Supply Systems provides technical guidance for operating and maintaining water supplies, treatment plants, storage facilities, and distribution systems at military installations. Applies to all personnel who are responsible for operation and maintenance fixed- base water systems. Provides insights into corrosion impacts, actions for prevention and control within the water supply system and components. Addresses CPC maintenance recommendations, CP, rust, coatings, and pitting risks.

    • UFC 3-230-03 Water Treatment provides requirements for typical water treatment systems for the DoD. These minimum technical requirements are based on UFC 1-200-01. Where other statutory or regulatory requirements are referenced in the contract, the more stringent requirement must be met. Addresses corrosion, cathodic protection, and corrosion control treatment requirements.

    • UFC 3-240-01 Wastewater Collection and Treatment provides requirements for typical wastewater collection systems for the DoD. These minimum technical requirements are based on UFC 1- 200-01. Where other statutory or regulatory requirements are referenced in the contract, the more stringent requirement must be met. Addresses soil corrosivity and materials utilized in wastewater collection systems. Corrosion, CP, and coating requirements are addressed. In areas where high hydrogen sulfide concentrations, such as piping in wet wells or manholes, provide corrosion resistant materials, coatings, or linings.

    • UFC 3-240-13FN Industrial Water Treatment Operation and Maintenance provides an overview of industrial water treatment operations and management. "Industrial water" refers to the water used in military power generation, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, cooling, processing, and all other equipment and systems that require water for operation. Industrial water is not the same as potable water. Industrial water is never consumed or used under situations that require a high degree of sanitation. Industrial water requires water preparation or chemical treatment, or both, to avoid the problems described in the UFC. Water preparation and chemical treatment requirements are described according to the type of system in question.

    • UFC 3-501-01 Electrical Engineering provides the governing criteria for electrical systems, explains the delineation between the different electrical-related UFCs, and refers to UFC 3-570-01 for CP requirements. UFC 3-501-01 should be used for design analysis, calculation, and drawing requirements. Provides technical requirements for general aspects of the electrical design of projects. Provides electrical engineering design and analysis criteria for design-build and design bid build projects. Provides top level minimum mandatory electrical requirements and refers to other applicable UFCs. Addresses some corrosion related requirements. Incorporates ESC requirements as referenced in UFC 1-200-01. The section on Corrosive and High Humidity Areas provides a lengthy explanation of corrosion related requirements invoking ASHRAE requirements as well. Specific materials are delineated. Addresses corrosion, cathodic protection, ASHRAE standards, paint, environmental, weather, humid conditions, corrosion resistant materials, weatherproof enclosures, stainless steel and aluminum use, and ESC.

    • UFC 3-550-01 Exterior Electrical Power Distribution provides policy and guidance for design criteria and standards for electrical power and distribution systems. The section on "Environmental Severity and Humid Locations" requires that "In corrosive and humid environments, provide design detailing, and use materials, systems, components, and coatings that are durable and minimize the need for preventative and corrective maintenance over the expected service life of the component or system." It invokes "UFC 1-200-01 and identifies corrosive environments and humid locations requiring special attention." Provides requirements for duct bank construction. Addresses corrosion, ESC, coatings, environmental conditions, humid and humidity, and corrosion prevention.

    • UFC 3-570-01 Cathodic Protection provides policy and design requirements for CP systems. The UFC provides the minimum design requirements, and must be utilized in the development of plans, specifications, calculations, and Design/Build Request for Proposals (RFP). Note that UFC 3-501-01, Electrical Engineering, provides the governing criteria for electrical systems, explains the delineation between the different electrical-related UFCs, and refers to UFC 3-570-01 for CP requirements. UFC 3-501-01 Electrical Engineering should be used for design analysis, calculation, and drawing requirements.

    • UFC 3-570-06 Operation And Maintenance: Cathodic Protection Systems provides guidance for operation and maintenance of CP systems including the elements of a good CP program. It should be used by field personnel to perform scheduled inspections and preventive maintenance and to troubleshoot and repair CP systems. Information on non-routine field measurements is also included to enable technical assistance personnel to troubleshoot problems beyond the normal capability of field personnel to isolate or correct. Delineates mandatory CP systems use.

    • UFGS 09 90 00 Paints and Coatings addresses "requirements for painting of new and existing, interior and exterior substrates." Discusses corrosion and invokes UFC 1-200-01. Delineates ESC requirements for ESC Zones C3, C4 and C5 and ASHRAE 90.1 humid locations in climate zones A, 1A, 2A, 3A, 4C and 5C. It includes contractor qualification requirements (SSPC QP 1, QP 2, etc.) and refers to SSPC, NACE, and MPI Standards. Topics include coatings, corrosion, rust, deterioration, mold, and mildew.

    • UFGS 09 96 00 High-Performance Coatings provides guidance on "special coatings […] required for harsh indoor locations or operations (any area subjected to chemical and/or abrasive action), and all outdoor installations." Requires the use of epoxy resin coatings where surface coatings require high corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, bond strength, UV resistance and toughness. It requires compliance with MPI Standards in the MPI Approved Products List and the MPI Architectural Painting Specification Manual prior to the start of any project. A skilled applicator requirement for coating application is included. Degradation, coatings, corrosion, rust, and ultraviolet topics are addressed.

    • UFGS 09 97 13.16 Interior Coating of Welded Steel Water Tanks "covers the requirements for polyamide epoxy coating system[s] for interior of newly constructed Navy and Air Force water tanks, potable and non-potable, where shop applied coatings are not being considered." It addresses contractor qualifications and experience (SSPC QP 5, SSPC C-7). While it does not directly address ESC requirements, it does invoke UFC 1-300-02. Designers are encouraged to contact the AFCEC Corrosion Engineer and NAVFAC Atlantic with questions and clarification of the UFGS guidance.

    • UFGS 33 30 00 Sanitary Sewerage discusses corrosion issues for cast iron and "bell and spigot piping."

    • UFGS 33 11 00 Water Utility Distribution Piping discusses corrosion resistant materials selection and protection requirements for valves, piping, linings, fittings, and joints.

    • UFGS 33 40 00 Stormwater Utilities discusses corrosion resistant materials selection and protection requirements for clay pipe, corrugated steel pipe, and corrugated aluminum pipe. Soil materials and coatings are also addressed.

    • UFGS 33 63 13 Exterior Underground Steam Distribution Systems delineates CP requirements and requires coordination with other design disciplines. Services of a corrosion engineer with stated experience are required. Corrosion resistant materials are discussed and required.

    Note that while a UFC or UFGS might not directly require corrosion related protection both UFC 1-200-01 and UFC 1-300-02 do require the application of the appropriate ESC Zone with the associated material selection and design requirements. It is recommended that the designer carefully review each criteria document to ensure that the appropriate materials are selected and placed in service along with the associated processes. Submittals may include shop drawings, product data, samples, test reports, certificates, manufacturer's instructions, and operation and maintenance data. Understanding Corrosion Science (see Corrosion Science Knowledge Area) as it affects utilities and buried structures and associated materials selection will help the designer and Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) manager make decisions that create facilities that are life cycle cost effective and more durable.

    Utilities System Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (SRM) Insights

    Understanding Corrosion Science (see Corrosion Science Knowledge Area) as it affects below ground utilities and associated structures will help the designer and SRM manager make decisions that create facilities that are life cycle cost effective and more durable. See Figures 2 and 3 for sustainment program flowcharts and considerations. The use of BUILDER™ Sustainment Management System (SMS) provides for the creation of a database, assessment and maintenance management of facilities assets.

    Flow Chart, PC Facilities Life Cycle (Design Service Life)

    Figure 2: CPC Facilities Life Cycle (Design Service Life)
    Source: Steve Geusic, P.E.

    Figure 3 illustrates the sustainment process and the associated workflow. Identifying and tracking building system deficiencies through this process will ensure that the necessary work will be scheduled and accomplished in a timely process. The broad area of Below Ground Utilities and Related Structures presents a long list of challenges for the facilities manager. This diverse range of facilities must be represented accurately in any SMS and along with the associated inspections, preventative maintenance, and SRM actions to keep them operational. The alternative to having a good, responsive sustainment program for below ground utilities and buried structures is "break down maintenance" which is never good and always drives last minute decisions and actions. This usually results in costly repairs, rather than ensuring that system sustainment decisions and repairs are accomplished in a more cost-effective manner over time.

    Flow Chart, Sustainment Maintenance Management Process

    Figure 3: Sustainment Maintenance Management Process
    Source: Steve Geusic, P.E.

    For more insights into CPC sustainment management see the CPC in Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and, Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (SRM) resource page. Additional information is provided on SMS, Builder™, and CPC data collection.

    Senior Airman Casey Reed, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuel systems maintenance shop technician, removes mud from the area around a broken pipe at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea

    Photo 6: CE Responds to Waterline Break
    Source: Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    Lessons Learned and Input From The Field

    • Consistent with DoD Directive 4270.5 Military Construction , utilize the CPC criteria and information hosted on the Whole Building Design Guide including UFC, UFGS, and Service Level facilities guidance. If necessary, mark-up guide specifications (e.g., UFGS) with prescriptive CPC requirements.
    • Include sufficient funds for CPC materials and coatings that are life cycle cost effective, appropriate for the environment where the project is located, and able to reach the intended service life without extensive preventative or corrective maintenance
    • Include maintainability topics in the discussions with designers, constructors and SRM personnel
    • Coordinate utility work with utility owners to include off-base power, water, waste and communications providers and obtain "dig permits" to ensure minimizing the risk to existing buried structures and the associated distribution systems
    • Discuss corrosion prevention at the design/construction kick-off meeting and implemented on the plans at each submittal stage
    • The Construction Agent should turnover the most up to date utilities and related structures conditions with CPC related mark-ups in the as-built drawings via the e-OMSI package [UFGS 01 78 24.00 20]
    • Review and coordinate projects by a committee of public works design and maintenance, safety, environmental, and security to ensure projects are fully coordinated and maintainable before work begins
    • Engage design and sustainment personnel in CPC decision-making activities, such as acquisition, design, inspection, maintenance, and repair
    • Ensure that sustainment personnel have appropriate training and qualifications prior to turnover (See CPC Source Competencies and CPC Source Training for additional insights)
    • Use aggressive preventive maintenance inspection programs that ensure early detection of deficiencies and reduce corrosion deterioration
    • Maintain and check CP systems based upon recommended cycles
    Contractors working on an environmental infrastructure project in Parma, Ohio

    Photo 7: Environmental infrastructure project - Parma, OH.
    Source: Dr. Michael Izard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District


    The following recommendations and links to content will help in the management of corrosion in below ground utilities and related structures:

    • Incorporate good Design Geometrics
    • Ensure that the design component or assembly complies with the requirements from the RFP, including performance technical specifications, referenced UFC and UFGS documents
    • Ensure that design drawings and specifications address CPC through proper choice of materials, CP, and coatings
    • Select and specify materials and coatings that have low life cycle costs, are durable, and minimize the need for preventative and corrective maintenance
    • Understand that initial investments in corrosion prevention are typically more life-cycle cost (LCC) effective than maintenance, repair, and replacement of prematurely degraded components
    • Design and construct below ground utility structure components to reach the intended service life, including the use of enhanced materials, coatings, and applying CP for at risk structures in severe corrosive environments
    • Select and execute design criteria based upon the facility requirement and the environmental conditions that exist at the facility location (see UFC 1-200-01 and the Corrosion Toolbox)
    • Review the Importance of including Corrosion in the Planning Process CPC Source page to gain facilities CPC planning insights
    • Apply acquisition insights described in contract development and management from the Corrosion Prevention and Control Acquisition Issues page; these acquisition basics will help the Facilities Professional navigate key acquisition requirements and pitfalls in the process of achieving a successful CPC contract
    • Apply insights into design and construction issues from the CPC Design and Construction Issues page.
    • Ensure that SRM processes, procedures and data collection are considered throughout the life cycle
    • Utilize insights from the Facilities Corrosion Impacts on Operations and Mission  table and the Corrosion Prevention and Control (CPC) in Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and, Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (SRM) page
    • Refer to the CPC Checklists page and associated Checklists Tools page for a quick reference into project development, planning, project management, evaluation, and CPC technical details

    Additional Resources

    Whole Building Design Guide—Department of Defense

    Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC)

    Unified Facilities Guide Specifications (UFGS)

    Whole Building Design Guide

    DoD And WBDG CPC Facilities Training


    DoD Facilities Organizations

    Industry Resources

    IEEE Standards Association

    • IEEE 1617-2007 "Guide for Detection, Mitigation, and Control of Concentric Neutral Corrosion in Medium-Voltage Underground Cables," Section 6

    International Organization for Standardization

    • ISO 9223:2012 Corrosion of metals and alloys – Corrosivity of atmospheres – Classification, determination and estimation
    • ISO 9224:2012 Corrosion of metals and alloys – Corrosivity of atmospheres – Guiding values for the corrosivity categories
    • ISO 9226:2012 Corrosion of metals and alloys – Corrosivity of atmospheres – Determination of corrosion rate of standard specimens for the evaluation of corrosivity

    American Water Works Association

    • AWWA/ANSI C105/A21.5 Polyethylene Encasement for Ductile-Iron Pipe Systems
    • AWWA Manual M27 External Corrosion Control for Infrastructure Sustainability
    • NACE SP0215-2015/IEEE STD 1839 NACE International and IEEE Joint Standard Practice for Below-Grade Corrosion Control of Transmission, Distribution, and Substation Structures by Coating Repair Systems


    • NACE SP0415-2015/IEEE STD 1895 NACE International and IEEE Joint Standard Practice for Below-Grade Inspection and Assessment of Corrosion on Steel Transmission, Distribution, and Substation Structures
    • NACE SP0102-2010 In-Line Inspection of Pipelines – This standard outlines a process of related activities that a pipeline operator can use to plan, organize, and execute an ILI project. Guidelines pertaining to ILI data management and data analysis are included

    Water Environment Federation (WEF)

    • Design of Wastewater and Stormwater Pumping Stations, Manual of Practice FD-4
    • Gravity Sanitary Sewer Design and Construction, Manual of Practice FD-5
    • Existing Sewer Evaluation and Rehabilitation, Manual of Practice FD-6
    • Alternative Sewer Systems, WEF Manual of Practice FD-12


    CPC Facilities Training

    Federal Facility Criteria: