The December 2019 opening of the new Midland, Texas, sewage treatment plant highlighted the success of a public/private partnership that provided a benefit for both sides. PENETRON ADMIX was chosen over a competitive product to protect the concrete infrastructure against aggressive treatment conditions.
In 2017, the City of Midland agreed to let Pioneer build a new municipal wastewater treatment plant in return for a long-term supply of reclaimed water from the plant for use in the company’s oil and gas development activities in the region.
“This partnership is a classic win-win situation,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “The City of Midland gets a new wastewater treatment plant, and Pioneer has a reliable source of water for its operations. In addition, Pioneer will pay the city up to $2.5 million annually for the sale of treated water, which will also reduce pressure on the town’s freshwater resources.”
Ensuring Protection from Caustic Chemicals
While designing the $133.5-million-dollar project, the engineers at Jacobs Engineering and CH2M-Hill were aware of the need to protect the new plant’s reinforced concrete structures from the highly caustic chemicals common in the sewage and industrial waste. Also, the soil in that region of Texas showed a high level of sulfate in the soil that made a robust solution to mitigate the sulfates even more urgent.
Originally, a competitive crystalline product was specified in the plant design guidelines. However, during the early stages of the project, the engineers at Jacobs Engineering and CH2M consulted with the Penetron specialist and Troy Vines, the project’s ready-mix supplier. Once planning was completed, a switch to PENETRON ADMIX had been approved.
How to Reduce Long-Term Repair and Maintenance Costs
“The engineering team saw that PENETRON ADMIX, with its ability to withstand hazardous chemicals that aggressively attack the concrete structure typical in wastewater treatment plants, would completely seal the concrete from any penetration – and significantly reduce long-term repair and maintenance costs,” said Christopher Chen. “They were also familiar with the saltwater disposal system projects Penetron had completed in the area over the years. This proven success was a pivotal factor in their decision.”
PENETRON ADMIX was added to the concrete mix by Troy Vines at the time of batching. The active proprietary chemicals in the admixture initiated a catalytic reaction to generate a non-soluble, lattice-like crystalline formation throughout the pores, micro-cracks and capillary tracts typically found in concrete. This formation essentially makes the concrete impermeable, stopping water and harmful chemicals from penetrating the concrete, even when facing high hydrostatic pressure.
Luminous Green Tracer in Bleed Water
Troy Vines treated over 25,000 cubic yards (19,100 m3) of concrete with PENETRON ADMIX, which was used in all the new plant’s tanks, filters and headworks.
“The contractor, PLW Waterworks, also appreciated the ‘green tracer’ in PENETRON ADMIX that presents itself as a luminous green tint in the bleed water. This identification control tool provides construction and design teams with reliable proof that ‘Penetron is in the mix’,” adds Christopher Chen.