Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Delvin E. DeBoer


The Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), promulgated in 1991, required public water systems to minimize lead and copper corrosion within distribution systems and household plumbing systems. Using treatment chemicals, water quality can be adjusted to produce corrosion resistant deposits on metal surfaces. The objective of this study was to experimentally demonstrate viable treatment alternatives for a local public water system experiencing excessive copper corrosion. During the course of this study various treatment alternatives, including pH adjustment and ortho/poly phosphate inhibitors, were tested. Corrosion activity was artificially accelerated, then measured with an electrochemical technique and with by-product release. The results of demonstration testing revealed that increasing pH dramatically reduced both copper corrosion rates and by-product release. Although blended phosphorus inhibitors were ineffective, 100% sodium and zinc orthophosphate inhibitors were extremely effective for reducing corrosion. As a result of conclusions generated by this thesis, the local public water supply raised the pH of the treated water. Thus far, distribution sampling sites that previously experienced high copper release have shown sufficiently decreased copper concentrations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Copper -- Corrosion -- Testing
Water-pipes -- Corrosion -- Testing
Corrosion and anti-corrosives




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright