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Engineers Without Borders Turns 10!
An Engineer Braving Borders
Penetron® worldwide
Taking Care of a High Water Table in Noida, India
Penetron Worldwide: Focus on USA
Rehabilitating a Historic Railway/Bikeway Tunnel (Ohio), USA
Repairing the Garage at Monongahela Valley Hospital (PA), USA
Protecting Concrete Against Aggressive Sewage and Waste (NJ), USA
Eliminating Pollution and Reducing Costs at the Wilderness Plant (VA), USA
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Integral Concrete Waterproofing
Penetron® Industry Newsletter
June 2012

Dear Reader,

Welcome to our latest report.  This month, we showcase recent projects from India and North America.  Our last report – on Sentosa Island in Singapore – showed how our experts work with local engineers, contractors and architects to achieve optimal concrete waterproofing and protection.  The case studies described below further illustrate the efficacy and reliability of Penetron products.

Our feature in this issue is “Engineers Without Borders,” a volunteer organization that supports community development programs around the world.  Penetron is an enthusiastic sponsor; we contribute resources to help realize sustainable engineering projects.  It’s part of our effort to help communities in need through our strengths: commitment to sustainable solutions and technology.

We hope you enjoy our latest newsletter.

Best regards,
Jozef van Beeck
Director International Sales & Marketing

Engineers Without Borders Turns 10!

Ten years ago, a civil engineer and a group of students made a trip to a small village in Belize to install a clean water system powered by a local waterfall.  That engineer, Dr. Bernard Amadei, realized the great impact a simple, sustainable low-cost solution that was implemented had on this small community.  Dr. Amadei also recognized that the knowledge and education he was imparting to his students did not have to be used to build large engineering marvels to achieve “real good,” but rather basic engineering knowledge could save lives and have the most meaning to many of the overlooked areas in the world.

From that first trip over a decade ago, Dr. Amadei went on to found Engineers Without Borders, an organization that in the last decade has built on Dr. Amadei’s realizations engaging academics, students and the professional community alike to come together and help those without resources.  Such a compilation leads to lives that will be changed for the better for both the participant and the recipient alike, through these simple, sustainable and low-cost projects.

“At EWB’s recent 10 Year Anniversary, it was obvious that the true success of the projects arises from the crux mission of EWB which their members clearly exhibit; we’ve seen chapters display determination in how they adopt a project and do all that they can to make it a reality” adds Christopher Chen, Director at Penetron. “We support organizations like EWB and applaud their efforts to remain true to an ideal that serves those most in need.”

Click here to read more about EWB and their impact on more than 2 million lives.

EWB-Penetron Grant Award Contest:  Winners announced!

Through our continued support of this organization, Penetron teamed up with EWB this spring for our first ever grant award contest.  With the desire to elevate the use of our current social media platforms, we shared three exceptional EWB chapters located in the United States.


The first place winner, Rowan University will continue their works in La Ceiba, a small village in the Ahuachapán region of El Salvador.  The Rowan University chapter strives to assist the villagers in La Ceiba, as the community is plagued by water-related illnesses found in their water sources (hand-dug wells and the local river).  The need for an engineering solution is vital, as the contaminated drinking water is blamed for the high occurrences of illnesses and deaths of many children. 

With three assessment trips under their belt, the Rowan University EWB chapter opted to install biosand filters as the means to achieve clean drinking water.

The second place winner is the Cal Poly chapter, for their great works towards improving small and micro scale waste management in the community of Sainji, India.

The third place winner is the University of Idaho chapter, for their project in Chiriwapi, Bolivia.  This chapter strives to design a potable water system for the community.

Penetron has enjoyed the journey of working with EWB; we look forward to celebrating many more milestones to come, with each step being a valuable progression towards an achievable and sustainable future.

An Engineer Braving Borders

Jay Thrasher is a prime example of the new wave of engineers making a meaningful and positive contribution to the world.  Jay embarked on his voyage to make a difference with his civil engineering degree in hand to train and serve as a Water and Sanitation Engineer with the U.S. Peace Corps.  Assigned to La Mulata, an impoverished area in the Dominican Republic, he was able to tackle his assignment of organizing and training the community to construct a 3-kilometer aqueduct to ensure a water supply for the village. 

Jay’s time with the Peace Corps was only the beginning:

“Since my return to the United States I continue to question: what is the best model for development work?  I know there is no simple and straightforward answer.  But it can start with the large number of engineers crossing borders and joining with groups such as Engineers Without Borders and the Peace Corps.  Engineers use the knowledge they possess for a common good – and taking on the many international challenges we face.  After all, we engineers are privileged; we acquired our skills in a society that offers the very best in innovative solutions.  We should be able to share our knowledge, successes and failures with the international community.”

Penetron has had the pleasure of getting to know Jay and his professional/personal goals as we sponsored his attendance to the EWB International Conference. 

Read more about Jay’s journey in his article, “Engineers Braving International Borders.
Penetron® worldwide
Taking Care of a High Water Table in Noida, India

The Global Tower IT Park is located in Sector 144 in Noida, India, a notoriously high water table zone. This IT park project is being developed by NSL Infratech Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad. With a total basement area of 17,000m2, the project looked to Penetron for waterproofing, as similar projects in Noida also successfully used Penetron.

A major portion of the basement was done with the Penetron Applicator. Project designers are RPS Design; and consultants M/s. TPC Consultants, New Delhi; New Consolidated Construction Ltd. are the contractors.

Penetron Worldwide: Focus on USA
Rehabilitating a Historic Railway/Bikeway Tunnel (Ohio), USA

The 532-foot (161m) long, 40-foot (12m) high bike tunnel close to the picturesque city of St. Clairsville in Ohio (USA) was plagued with water leakage and, in colder months, ice build-up, making the tunnel unsafe for bicyclists or pedestrians.  Originally constructed in 1902 as a rail tunnel, the Bikeway Tunnel was renewed with Penetron slurry placed over the entire concrete liner, followed by drainage improvements and reinforcing.  Penetron Admix was added to the final shotcrete to form the new tunnel interior.

“This cutting edge approach ended the water runoff problems; upgrading an important part of our city’s parks and infrastructure,” adds Dennis Bigler, St. Clairsville Director of Public Services.

Repairing the Garage at Monongahela Valley Hospital (PA), USA

Like many other parking garages, the “Mon Valley” garage was plagued by damage from water infiltration and corrosion.  The traffic and waterproofing membrane had failed prematurely, allowing salt laden water to penetrate the concrete and accelerate corrosion of the post tensioning cables, embedded conduits, and rebar.  Because attempts to repair the original waterproofing membrane failed, it was decided to reinforce the uppermost concrete level with underlying steel beams and repair the concrete on the underside of the decks. 

First, a high pressure water blast opened the capillaries.  The existing cracks and repair joints were routed and packed with Penecrete Mortar and the areas was treated with two coats of Penetron slurry.  The Penetron material was able to waterproof concrete even from the negative side of the structure.  After application, it initiates a reaction between free lime and moisture in the concrete to create crystals that stop water from penetrating the pores and capillaries of the concrete matrix.  Job done!

Protecting Concrete Against Aggressive Sewage and Waste (NJ), USA

One of the largest sewage treatment systems in the USA, the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission runs a 172-acre plant by Newark Bay that serves five counties in populous New Jersey.  The plant treats a wide array of industrial and commercial liquid wastes delivered by pipeline, trucks, rail and or barge. Designed to treat 330 million gallons (1.25 billion liters) per day, the plant often has daily flows spiking up to 550 million gallons (2.08 billion liters) during rainstorms.

Looking to accommodate flow surcharges and treat caustic industrial wastes, an upgrade to the headworks was begun.  The flow capacity of the previous headworks channel was often clogged with grit and debris.  A new layout – using a unique ‘teardrop’ design – was developed with multiple channels to minimize accumulation.  Penetron Admix was used to treat all concrete exposed to the incoming sewage and industrial waste, conforming easily to the new design and helping maintain the construction schedule.

Eliminating Pollution and Reducing Costs at the Wilderness Plant (VA), USA

The Wilderness Wastewater Treatment Plant, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay, treats municipal sewage from numerous communities.  The plant had become outdated; with the goal of “saving the bay” from pollution and nutrient loading, the Rapidan Service Authority decided to upgrade and expand the plant.

To comply with environmental standards and create tertiary treatment capabilities, new structures were built: headworks, biological nutrient reduction tanks, tertiary filter tanks, 3 secondary clarifiers, 2 sludge digesters, 2 flocculation tanks, post aeration tanks, chlorine contact tanks, and de-chlorination tanks.  Penetron supported the job from mix design development to facility start-up and commissioning.  About 7,000 cubic yards (5381 cubic meters) of concrete, treated with Penetron Admix, were used.  The project is completed and Penetron’s technology helped eliminate any localized pollution, contributing to a significant reduction in long-term repair and maintenance costs.

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