Corps finally Admits: Rusty Pipes Are Bad

May 27, 2008 by

Once more HumidCity is proud to syndicate the emails of engineer Matt McBride, the man who formerly helmed Fix The Pumps.

Dear New Orleanians,

Those of you who followed my blog might have remembered my post about the 17,000 feet of rusty, unpainted hydraulic pipes at all three lakefront floodgate sites.

For over two years, the pipes have sat there, corroding away in a marine environment. All the while, the Corps did nothing.

Until last Friday, when this solicitation popped up:

New Coating System for Hydraulic Pipes-Cleaning and coating hydraulic and fuel lines Interim Closure Structures-Orleans Avenue, London Avenue, and 17th Street

It’s about time!

When I wrote about the rusty pipes, I only concentrated on the lines between the pump engines and the pumps themselves, which carry 3000 psi hydraulic fluid. I noted, but never wrote about, the fuel lines which feed the generators from the huge, 20,000 gallon fuel tanks. They also are very rusty, and are just as critical to the operation of these facilities.

Finally – FINALLY – the Corps will do the right thing and hydroblast and paint the things. When they will do so is not clear, because the synopsis does not give a timeline. And this will still not correct the problem with inadequate sizing of the pipes. That could only be corrected by replacing them.

The fact this is coming two years after their installation should make people think very long and hard about the reassurances the Corps has given over that period that everything was just fine. Everything was not fine, and it still is not


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