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Ecodur 201: Coating Canal Water Diverters

Coating Canal Water Diverters

The United States’ canal systems are vast and vital. There are 165 major ones of which 38 still carry transportation. Seventy-six are abandoned transportation canals and 51 others are for irrigation, drainage, and industrial purposes. Adding in all the minor ones, and the grand total is 18,241.

This case study concerns the Grand Valley irrigation system in Colorado. The water used within the Grand Valley originates in the snowpack of the northern Front Range, Middle Park, Gore Range, Elk Mountains, Grand Mesa, and other smaller ranges in northern and central Colorado. It is a critical source of water for agriculture for crops such as peaches, plums, cherries, and wine grapes.

Castagra’s applicator, Elite Protective Coatings of Denver, carried out repair test work three years ago on cracked, shotcreted banks. The shotcrete itself is tough to repair as adhesion is an issue and so it was decided to overcoat it with Ecodur. Recently, those Ecodur repairs were inspected and photographed to provide evidence for justifying future use of this veggie-plastic.

Problem
Three years is considered an adequate length of time to judge the effectiveness of Ecodur usage, but the proof was needed to justify that assertion, particularly as the water industry is considered to be a conservative one.

Any time water is involved, this presents problems as the target area to be coated must be clean and dry.

In this case, the cost to the client is paramount as budgets in this industry are relatively low in sharp contrast to the high importance and vital nature of the industry itself.

Solution
Ecodur, which is non-toxic and NSF/ANSI-61 certified for contact with human drinking water, has outstanding adhesion which was particularly critical with making effective repairs on shotcrete. Typical cloth pull tests show Ecodur has grip strength in excessive of 100 pounds.

Ecodur is easily manually applied and can also be sprayed with the company’s proprietary spray technology which entirely eliminates the need for solvents. It is also readily foamable and has a Class A flame retardant rating.

The coating was first produced 25 years ago from castor oil and gypsum and thousands of tank, steel and concrete structures have been coated with it, including ship decks. Its high resistance to corrosion has been well demonstrated in frac production water and oil tanks which are often contaminated with the cocktail of chemicals, many corrosive, that are used in that oil extraction process.

Application Results
As the accompanying photographs show, the Ecodur coated areas on the shotcreted banks, appear to be pristine. Certainly, careful and close inspection, particularly along edges, showed no anomalies and none requiring any touch ups. One photo shows recently coated irrigation water diverters.

One standout result was the client reported an increased flow rate where plastic sheets had been employed and the effects of the ultra smooth surfaces created by the Ecodur coated sections. This effect can benefit irrigation operations. The client also reported satisfaction that Ecodur would appear to offer additional shotcrete protection from debris impacts in the flow streams.