Concrete sewer corrosion is a long-standing and costly problem for the water industry. Microbial hydrogen sulfide oxidation on concrete surfaces plays a critical role. Utilising a newly discovered, low-cost and environmental benign antimicrobial agent, we will develop an innovative technology and the underpinning science to control the development of corrosion-inducing sewer biofilms. The technology can be applied to prevent corrosion of new concrete sewers by adding a precursor chemical into the cement, or to slow down the corrosion of existing sewers by infrequently (once every one to few years) spraying the precursor chemical directly onto the concrete surface. Potentially, the project will substantially reduce sewer corrosion.

sewer drain



  • South East Water
  • DC Water for life
  • City of Gold Coast

Project Outcomes

One PhD student has successfully graduated from this project with field work achievements in the pilot gravity pipes and the sewer man holes at theGold Coast. Another PhD student has been recruited to work on laboratory-corrosion chambers study. Two advanced corrosion chambers have been constructed and are currently running now. Laboratory experiments are ongoing in collaboration with several industry partners.


  • Sun, X., Jiang, G., Bond, P.L., Keller, J. and Yuan, Z. (2015) A novel and simple treatment for control of sulfide induced sewer concrete corrosion using free nitrous acid. Water Research 70(0), 279-287.
  • Li, X., O'Moore, L., Wilkie, S., Song, Y., Wei, J., Bond, P.L., Yuan, Z., Hanzic, L. and Jiang, G. (2020b) Nitrite admixed concrete for wastewater structures: Mechanical properties, leaching behavior and biofilm development. Construction and Building Materials 233, 117341.
  • Li, X., Bond, P.L., O’Moore, L., Wilkie, S., Hanzic, L., Johnson, I., Mueller, K., Yuan, Z. and Jiang, G. (2020a) Increased Resistance of Nitrite-Admixed Concrete to Microbially Induced Corrosion in Real Sewers. Environmental science & technology 54(4), 2323-2333.
  • Song, Y., Wightman, E., Kulandaivelu, J., Bu, H., Wang, Z., Yuan, Z. and Jiang, G. (2020) Rebar corrosion and its interaction with concrete degradation in reinforced concrete sewers. Water research, 115961.
  • Song, Y., Wightman, E., Tian, Y., Jack, K., Li, X., Zhong, H., Bond, P.L., Yuan, Z. and Jiang, G. (2019b) Corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete sewers. Science of The Total Environment 649, 739-748.

Project members

Other members

  • Xuan Li
  • Norah Alghamdi