Investigation of Soil Aggressiveness towards Underground Fuel Storage Tanks and Water Pipelines in Parts of Bayelsa State, Southern Nigeria


Structural failure of buried cast/ductile iron water mains and tanks due to corrosion attacks manifests in leaks and is common in most cities throughout Nigeria. The appropriate corrective action, which aims to restore pipe/tank integrity is usually based on proper understanding of the degree of corrosiveness of the soil. In an attempt to determine the potential corrosiveness of the soil to buried metallic structures in Bayelsa State, surface geoelectrical sounding was carried out. Twenty-five Schlumberger Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES) was carried out in the freshwater and meander belt geomorphic zone and the salt water mangrove swamp and estuary complex of the state using a maximum current electrode separation ranging from 200 - 400 m. The data obtained was interpreted by computer iterative modeling using a 1D inversion technique software (1X1D, Interpex, USA). The results show a high degree of heterogeneity, both laterally and vertically, which is typical of a complex depositional environment. Generally, the sub-soil condition within the expected depth of installation of water mains and storage tanks (0 - 10 m) is slightly or moderately aggressive (effective aggressivity) in the freshwater and meander belt geomorphic zone but is very strongly aggressive in the salt water mangrove swamp and estuary complex. Corrosion cells which may lead to significant corrosion failures may occur in the vicinities of strongly aggressive stations. This poses a significant corrosion risk to metallic water pipes and storage tanks. Current day design should therefore either mandate the use of a non-metallic piping product (water mains) or cathodic protection system. Prediction of potential corrosiveness of a soil and thus the application of proper corrosion control measures will not only protect the environment from spillages but will also avert cost of repair, clean-up and replacement.

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K. Okiongbo and E. Akpofure, "Investigation of Soil Aggressiveness towards Underground Fuel Storage Tanks and Water Pipelines in Parts of Bayelsa State, Southern Nigeria," Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 11, 2012, pp. 761-767. doi: 10.4236/eng.2012.411097.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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