Advancement of Cathodic Protection Monitoring and Control for Water Storage Tanks

Project ID: 20023
Principal Investigator: Christine Henderson
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2020, 2021 and 2022
Keywords: None

Research Question

Reclamation uses many kinds of water tanks throughout the Western United States. Tank interiors are usually submerged in water at varying levels based on system needs. These interiors are prone to corrosion and can be expensive to re-coat. The Materials and Corrosion lab at the Denver Technical Services Center is responsible for designing cathodic protection systems that help to extend the service life of many tanks.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and BOR conducted a joint project on "Improved Effectiveness of Corrosion Prevention and Control Systems for HSS," which used a combination of modeling and sensing to detect deficiencies in corrosion mitigation systems on miter gates as a model structure. This proposed research applies the outcomes from the USACE gate study for Reclamation's purposes, specifically dealing with water tank interiors.

Reclamation has many storage tanks, regulating tanks, air chambers, and elevated tanks that are protected with cathodic protection. Novel design concepts utilizing ring anodes and autocontrollers have appeared on the market. They are designed to make cathodic protection systems easier to monitor, control, and install. The goal is to test and identify if these design implementations will work in the field by using a physical laboratory model system and concurrent numerical model. Storage tank interiors are very complex systems to design compared to gates. A combination of laboratory and numerical testing will allow for verification of the use of ring anodes and autopotential controller systems on tanks. This research will allow water tank cathodic protection systems to be installed and operated at their highest efficiency in order to prevent damaging corrosion, extending the life of tanks used throughout Reclamation.

Need and Benefit

Many of Reclamation's water tanks utilize cathodic protection (CP) to help extend valuable service life. This research examines the use of novel CP system designs for water tanks such as ring anodes and autopotential controllers to optimize cathodic protection control. Ease of installation, ease of monitoring, and CP system efficiency will be evaluated using a lab-based model with controlled parameters.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Advancement of Cathodic Protection Monitoring and Control for Water Storage Tanks (final, PDF, 2.4MB)
By Chrissy Henderson, Grace Weber
Report completed on September 30, 2022

This research product summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20