Water Lines

According to AWWA’s 2016 Benchmarking Survey, the average water and wastewater utility has nine leaks per 100 miles of water distribution system piping every year.  The US’s best pipe systems experience just three leaks over that distance, while the worst systems have 24 failures per year in that span.

In both potable and wastewater lines, scale build-up (such as calcium or magnesium) and chemical reactions (corrosion or pipe metal dissolving into the carried water) can result in a failure of a pipe’s integrity. This can lead to disruption of the water line; either restricting flow or resulting in failures like leaks and bursts.

In older pipelines, corrosion and pipe degradation can also lead to issues such as the leaching of lead into the water stream. This is an issue that has come to light in several municipalities around the United States recently.

In-place corrosion and degradation of pipes often forces utility and pipe owners/operators to undertake full trenching and replacement, which is extremely expensive. DragX’s in-situ application, together with its corrosion-prevention and deposit-repelling properties, ensure optimal sustainability and integrity for both old and new pipes carrying water or wastewater. DragX can extend the lifespan of in-place pipes and under certain circumstance, help avoid full replacement of pipes.

Corrosion failure burst pipe leak

Corrosion plays a significant role in water pipe failures, especially at connecting joints. Early and ongoing damage not only weakens portions of the pipe, it can allow water to escape causing addition, external corrosion. Metal pipes have many failure mechanisms connected to corrosion such as the metal becoming brittle, prone to cracking, loss of strength at weld points, pitting and erosion, and so on.

The chemically-inert, omniphobic nature of DragX surface treatment technology excels at the prevention of both internal and external pipeline corrosion. DragX is easily applied in-situ to already-corroded pipelines, valves, and other metal parts with minimal surface preparation and without disassembly or re-installment. DragX can also be applied in-factory for new pipes, before they are installed for use.

The passivating layer created by the nanocomposite structure will halt the progression of existing corrosion and mitigate further corrosive effects from the carried water.

In addition, the omniphobic function of DragX repels the buildup of scale to prevent calcium or magnesium deposits from both restricting the pipe’s flow and from weakening the pipe integrity.

  • DragX has a pot life of over 72 hours, cure time between coats of approximately 1 hour, and full cure times of 12-24 hours – making it ideal for long, in-field applications;
  • It can be applied to existing, corroded pipelines with minimal surface preparation;
  • A low-friction topcoat imparts corrosion, abrasion and puncture resistance even when applied extremely thin (2 mil);
  • DragX is omniphobic (hydrophobic & oleophobic) and can be applied to previously-deteriorated or damaged metal substrates;
Pipe surface without DragX
Pipe surface after DragX application

Case Studies

Corroded ductile iron and mortar-lined pipes at a water distribution facility

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Complex geometries at a chemical handling facility, waste water line

View Case Study


  • Field Application with water distribution test facility for reclaimed ductile iron and mortar-lined water main pipes, compatible with water quality standards and sanitization protocols (exposure to chlorine flushes).
  • Applied in-situ on an active chemical handling facility wastewater pipeline, treated to prevent buildup of scale deposition and prevent pipe corrosion along a specific length of subterranean pipe.

Key benefits:

  • Improved pipeline efficiency by reducing surface friction of the pipe wall;
  • Increased flow capacity at decreased pressures for de-rated pipelines;
  • Protection against internal corrosion and formation of scale;
  • Reduced buildup of contaminates on pipe walls;
  • Faster pigging & less frequent scrapping.