Media Release

Penetron Waterproofs Weir in Northeast Mississippi to Upgrade and Expand Regional Water Supply


Completed in July 2022, the construction and commissioning of the new weir, which draws water from the Tenn-Tom Waterway, will help the Northeast Mississippi Regional Water Supply District meet water quality regulations and increase output. PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline concrete waterproofing admixture, was specified to ensure impermeability and enhanced durability for the new concrete structures.

Based in Fulton, Mississippi, a small town of just over 4,000 inhabitants in northeast Mississippi, the Northeast Mississippi Regional Water Supply District was created in 1988 to supply water to the municipality of Tupelo, MS. Over the years, it grew to also supply the communities of Fulton and Mantachie, plus industrial areas that include the large Toyota automobile assembly plant at the Wellspring industrial site near Blue Springs (MS).

Today, the Northeast Mississippi Regional Water Supply District is the largest supplier of treated surface water in the region. The district draws its water from the Tombigbee River basin, which drains northeastern Mississippi and parts of western Alabama, a total area of over 13,700 square miles. A major feature in the basin is the Tennessee-Tombigbee (“Tenn-Tom”) Waterway, which joins the Tennessee River and parts of the original Tombigbee River through dams and man-made canals, to serve as a navigation route between the Gulf of Mexico and the central United States.

The recently completed $1.2 million expansion and upgrade project will ensure the District can maintain water quality standards to comply with the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act regulations, and expand output. Construction work included modifications to the water treatment plant, and a new weir, or water intake structure, that draws water directly from the Tenn-Tom Waterway in Fulton, Mississippi, within the Upper Tombigbee Watershed, an area of 594 square miles.

“The project included the construction of a new weir for the water treatment plant facility, as well as extensive repair and renovation work on the existing weir structures,” adds Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group.

The structural engineers at Cook Coggin Engineers, a civil engineering company based in Tupelo (MS), asked B&B Concrete, the ready-mix concrete supplier, for an optimal waterproofing solution for the concrete walls of the new weir. After reviewing the cost benefits, and the on-site technical support available from Penetron, PENETRON ADMIX SB was specified to treat all concrete.

“A competitive product was originally specified for this project, but PENETRON ADMIX SB was ultimately specified based on our packaging, pricing, and successful collaboration with B&B Concrete on similar projects,” adds Christopher Chen.

When exposed to moisture, the active ingredients in PENETRON ADMIX react to form insoluble crystals, which fill in microcracks, pores, and voids in the concrete – becoming an integral part of the concrete matrix. The formation of the crystals throughout the concrete matrix prevents water, and any other liquids, to pass through the concrete – even under conditions of constantly high hydrostatic pressure – that would otherwise cause corrosion and resulting deterioration.

“Waterproofing concrete with PENETRON ADMIX increases the durability and service life of concrete – and effectively minimizes the future waterproofing related maintenance costs,” concludes Christopher Chen.