Water Resources Engineering connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with global, economic, environmental, and societal issues. Our student Matthew Tamburro makes this connection here…

“Stainless steel in indoor swimming pool buildings” is an article written by Nancy Baddoo and Peter Cutler that was posted on the technical note about current events, and previous case studies of 1985. This water resources engineering news is classified in the hydrological domain due to its relation to water quality, and water related sciences.  The news article discusses a case study that happened in Uster, Switzerland related to the failure of a suspended ceiling due to water conditions. What happens is: the water is released into the air as water vapor via evaporation and released droplets due to turbulent waters.  This airborne water vapor is contaminated with chlorides that were present in water disinfectants and contaminants from bathers. Together these form chloramines, which are the main driving agents in steel corrosion. The water condenses and dries on the steel, causing it to pitt and eventually fail.

This current event relates to the larger context area of water quality. Water quality is an area of water resources engineering that can have impacts on an environmental, economic, and societal level. In this case, water quality was the indirect cause of a failure that resulted in the loss of life. Along with the societal impact of the loss of life, there are economical impacts in the sense that the entire roof failed requiring an entire new structure to be built. Water quality as a whole can have environmental impacts when in contact with an outside exposed aggressive environment.

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Figure 1: This is an image of the failure that occurred

References:

“Stainless Steel in Indoor Swimming Pool Buildings.” Technical Note: Swimming Pools. British Stainless

Steel Association, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.

<http://www.bssa.org.uk/cms/File/Baddoo%20Swimming%20Pools%20(3p).pdf

Influence of Material and Processing on Stress Corrosion Cracking of Prestressing Steel – Case Studies: Technical Report. Lausanne: Fib, 2003. Print. Bulletin // International Federation for Structural Concrete, 26.

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