Media Release

Kentucky Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants Specify PENETRON ADMIX to Maximize Concrete Durability


The October 2023 commissioning of both the new drinking water and wastewater treatment plants in Henderson, Kentucky, kept the completion of the town’s new Pratt Industries paper mill on schedule. PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline waterproofing admixture, was specified to protect the concrete structures of both plants from water and wastewater ingress and extend the service life of the treatment and water storage tanks.

Perched on the banks of the Ohio River, Henderson, Kentucky, is a city of around 30,000 inhabitants and considered the southernmost suburb of the Evansville, Indiana metropolitan area, right across the river in Indiana. The town boasts a vibrant cultural scene, which encompasses riverside music festivals, fine restaurants, art galleries, and the nearby Audubon State Park.

In 2021, Pratt Industries, a national manufacturer of lightweight containerboard with five paper mills across the USA, announced the construction of a $500 million corrugated box recycling and paper mill complex, which covers 1 million square feet of space.

“Shipping boxes are a crucial part of our country’s Internet economy,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of the Penetron Group. “Pratt supplies key customers – including Amazon, the U.S. Postal Service, Procter & Gamble, and The Home Depot – who ship a lot of boxes. Home Depot alone sells almost 100 million cardboard boxes in its stores every year!”

Faced with the increased demand for fresh water and wastewater required by a new paper mill running at full capacity, Henderson Water Utility (HWU), the town’s water utility, agreed to construct a new drinking water plant and wastewater treatment plant.

“When planning water distribution systems for industrial customers, numerous additional issues, such as minimum water pressure requirements, peak process and potable water demand, and fire protection requirements need to be taken into consideration,” adds Christopher Chen. “This means HWU also added a water booster station, specified a higher capacity water tank and larger diameter water supply piping to ensure the required water pressure and flow.”

Meuth Concrete, the ready-mix concrete supplier, contacted Penetron once the paper mill was approved about an optimal concrete mix for the concrete structures. This includes the water and wastewater treatment tanks, water storage tanks, etc., which are constantly exposed to water and effluent. PENETRON ADMIX SB was approved as the concrete waterproofing solution.

Once added to concrete, the proprietary chemicals in PENETRON ADMIX SB react in a catalytic reaction to generate a non-soluble crystalline formation throughout the pores and capillary tracts of the concrete. These crystals permanently seal micro-cracks, pores, and capillaries against the penetration of water (or liquids) from any direction – making the concrete impermeable.

“The concrete structures of HWU’s new treatment plants are now impermeable to water and aggressive waterborne contaminants, even under constant exposure,” adds Christopher Chen. “The ability of PENETRON ADMIX SB to permanently self-heal any future microcracks will significantly mitigate concrete deterioration over the service life of the concrete.”

The water/wastewater treatment plants of the $500 million corrugated box recycling and paper mill complex counts on Penetron waterproofing admixture for durability.

Pratt specifies PENETRON ADMIX SB: The water/wastewater treatment plants of the $500 million corrugated box recycling and paper mill complex counts on Penetron waterproofing admixture for durability.

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