Home / Sponge Media: Revitalizing a Coastal Wastewater Treatment Plant

Revitalizing a Coastal Wastewater Plant with Sponge Media

US Southern Coast

In the harsh environment of wastewater treatment facilities, the battle against coating deterioration is relentless. The coastal location exacerbates these challenges, exposing structures to a corrosive mix of sea air and chemical pollutants, which can escalate to operational shutdowns and expensive asset replacements if not addressed timely. Frank Madero, the head of Madero Engineers & Constructors, LLC, highlighted the severity of these conditions, noting the rapid degradation and coating failures as common yet critical concerns.

Upon embarking on a restoration project at a southern U.S. coastal wastewater treatment plant, Madero’s team was met with the task of addressing the widespread failure of an elastomeric coating applied just a few years prior. Installed in 2017 to protect the plant’s various concrete and metal elements, this coating had succumbed to delamination, a testament to the relentless wear imparted by the marine environment coupled with chemical and hydrogen sulfide exposure.

The project scope for Madero and his team was comprehensive, encompassing the certified design, surface preparation, and application of a new Warren epoxy liner, along with quality control tests, inspections, and structural repairs to combat inflow and infiltration issues.

Choosing Sponge Media Blasting for Efficacy and Environmental Consideration

The decision to employ Sponge Media abrasive blasting technology was driven by the need to effectively remove the resistant elastomeric coating without introducing toxic chemicals into the mix. The Silver 30 Sponge Media™ was selected for its proficiency in stripping away the deteriorated coating, prepping the surfaces for the subsequent application of a durable Warren epoxy liner.

The Benefits of Dust Mitigation and Mobility

A pivotal advantage of the chosen method was its minimal dust production, crucial for a site bordered by the beach and frequently subjected to windy conditions. The low-dust characteristic of Sponge-Jet technology meant that dust containment measures could be drastically minimized, simplifying cleanup efforts and mitigating environmental impact. Moreover, the versatility and portability of Sponge Media blasting allowed the Madero team to navigate the plant’s complex array of structures efficiently, ensuring thorough preparation across both concrete and metal substrates.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Sponge Media

Executing Under a Constrained Schedule

Despite the extensive nature of the rehabilitation, the wastewater treatment plant remained fully operational, underscoring the need for Madero’s team to perform efficiently without compromising on quality or safety. The meticulous planning and execution enabled the successful revitalization of the facility’s infrastructure within the allotted time frames, with the clarifier project extending over five weeks and other areas concluding in two to three weeks.

Madero reflected on the project’s success, attributing the positive outcome to the capabilities of Sponge Media blasting technology. This method not only facilitated the high standards of surface preparation and coating application but also underscored the project’s environmental conscientiousness. The client’s satisfaction and Madero’s endorsement of the technology highlight its effectiveness and the project’s exemplary execution.


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