Corrosion Surveys: Why are they Important?

Visual cues are not enough when it comes to the damage that corrosion can have.  We’ve talked recently about the causes of corrosion on utility assets, the prevention methods, and the health risks posed to customers. The one missing ingredient from that discussion is the importance of regular monitoring.

Known as corrosion surveys, these periodic evaluations search for early signs of corrosion on metal assets. Surveys should be an essential part of any utility’s preventive maintenance plan. Here’s a quick look at what a corrosion survey entails and why it’s important to conduct one.

What is a corrosion survey?

There are several different reasons why a utility would complete a corrosion survey. After burying an asset, utilities can determine the likelihood of future corrosion. A utility will check to see how severely an asset is already corroded and determine the extent of future corrosion without adequate intervention.

Corrosion surveys are typically done by examining the asset’s “resistivity,” or how strongly metal resists an electric current. Analyzing an asset’s resistivity and the surrounding soil can pinpoint the areas of the asset that are most likely to become corroded if they aren’t already.

Related: Minimizing Damage When You Spring a Leak

Corrosion surveys can reduce costs

The importance of preventive maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Ultimately these checks will reduce costs over time as unchecked corrosion shortens the life of metal assets. These regular surveys and observations of corrosion may salvage an asset and avoid its early replacement. Corrosion is a controllable chemical response, and monitoring for known factors can extend the asset’s usable lifetime.

Corrosion surveys can aid with budget planning

Meeting bottom-line budget numbers are important operational goals for any business. Corrosion surveys can play a pivotal role in making that happen. Regular assessments reveal damage and developing weaknesses. In this way, your utility gains information on asset longevity. With this insight, it’s easy to plan for repairs and replacements and avoid unexpected costs down the road.

Corrosion surveys preserve safety and performance

In our post on improving customer awareness of corrosion, we discussed some of the dangers of contamination. These include effects on public health. Assessing your pipes and other metal assets for corrosion can help to ensure your infrastructure and isn’t negatively impacting the health of your customers. By circumventing the types of pinholes in pipes associated with corrosion, your utility can prevent its performance and service delivery from suffering.

Utility Partners of America has an expert team of asset surveyors

Corrosion is a severe problem that requires proper attention. If your utility lacks the resources or the expertise to perform corrosion surveys, Utility Partners of America (UPA) can help. Many of our projects over the past 20 years include asset inspections and surveys. Interested to see what we can do for your infrastructure? Contact us today.