Biochemical attack on concrete in wastewater applications: A state of the art review
The costs associated with the provision and maintenance of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure represents a significant financial demand worldwide. Maintenance costs are disproportionately high, indicating a lack of adequate durability. There remains a lack of consensus on degradation mechanisms, the performance of various cement types, the role of bacteria in the corrosion process associated with wastewater applications and testing methodologies. This paper presents a review of the literature, outlining the various research approaches undertaken in an effort to address this problem. The findings of these varying approaches are compared, and the different strategies employed are compiled and discussed. It is proposed that a key step in advancing the understanding of the associated deterioration mechanism is a combined approach that considers the interaction between biological and chemical processes. If this can be achieved then steps can be taken to establishing a performance-based approach for specifying concrete in these harsh service conditions.