NACE International Urge Training and Preparedness to Stop Another Water Crisis Like Flint
Congressional Corrosion Prevention Caucus members and NACE International corrosion experts today discussed training, preparedness, and policy measures to help stop another water crisis like Flint, Mich., from happening again. In a panel discussion on Capitol Hill, the group talked about the rising threat of corrosion far beyond Flint, and the consequences facing millions of Americans if corrosion prevention steps are not taken.
“Ultimately, it’s not enough to try to minimize the terrible damage we’re seeing in Flint,” said Caucus Co-chair, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5). “It’s up to all of us to work together to prevent a disaster like this from happening ever again. To do that, we need a national strategy to prevent corrosion of our infrastructure.”
“This panel discussion is an important opportunity to bring together members of Congress, staff, policy makers, academics, and industry leaders to determine and promote sensible solutions that emphasize corrosion planning and use of qualified personnel. Better corrosion planning can help protect our infrastructure investments and in turn public health,” said Caucus Co-Chair, Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22).
There are more than 155,000 public water systems in the U.S., nearly half of which will have exceeded the designed life span in the next five years. Fixing our nation’s water systems will require extensive infrastructure replacement, but corrosion prevention and planning are essential to any steps toward improvement.
“By implementing a corrosion plan before beginning construction on infrastructure projects, we improve public safety, save billions of dollars in damage, and protect the environment from the harmful effects of corrosion,” said Jim Feather, President, NACE International.
According to a study from the Federal Highway Administration, corrosion directly costs the U.S. economy roughly 3.1% of GDP – or approximately $500 billion in 2015. The water industry alone is losing more than $50 billion due to corrosion.
“Using proven corrosion prevention technologies, such as coatings and cathodic protection systems, can reduce corrosion costs by up to 30%,” Esty said. “And the 30% estimate is just in the form of economic benefit; it does not include the benefits of longer-lasting assets, improved public safety, reduction in environmental waste, or the more efficient use of precious resources.”