The Importance of Cathodic Protection in Water Tank Maintenance

You may have seen rust or damage to your metal equipment, and your first thought would probably be that there’s nothing you can do about it anymore. You’re right in that case – it may have been too late now to save it.  But should you have done something to protect your metal surfaces from corrosion beforehand, you would have saved yourself the hassle and expenses.

You can prevent corrosion damage to active metal surfaces such as tanks by protecting them with an appropriate coating, and cathodic protection is all that you need. Read this article to learn more about cathodic protection and how you can manage it.

What Is Cathodic Protection?

Cathodic protection for Water Tank Maintenance.

Cathodic protection protects submerged or buried metal structures in water tanks from rust and corrosion. It is commonly used to protect various structures in water tanks against corrosion, including tanks themselves, piping, valves, pumps, and other submerged or buried metal components.

While cathodic protection is a powerful tool for preventing corrosion in water tanks, it can be very expensive for large steel assets.

Types Of Cathodic Protection

The broad categories for cathodic protection services are ‘Galvanic’ and ‘Impressed Current Cathodic Protection.’


Galvanic protection, also known as galvanization, puts a protective layer, predominantly composed of zinc, on the metal susceptible to corrosion (in this case, steel). In this way, the zinc layer serves as a sacrificial layer, giving up its protection of the steel beneath it so that it can be eroded. Because the zinc layer wears away over time, exposing the underlying steel, this method cannot be utilized as a long-term preventive strategy.

Impressed Current Cathodic Protection

An impressed current cathodic protection system has anodes continuously supplying electrons. These anodes are connected to a power source to do this. The anode in this strategy uses more active metal to sacrifice ions to safeguard the metal in danger. Anodes are typically alloys of metals with a higher electrochemical potential, such as magnesium, aluminum, or zinc, and they are used in batteries. This method is utilized to provide long-term protection against corrosion.

Why Is Cathodic Protection Important?

Cathodic protection is used to protect large metal structures such as underground or submerged structures (such as pipelines or the bottoms of storage tanks in industrial plants), metal reinforcements of concrete buildings or bridges, or internal components of commonly used items such as water heaters and boilers.

Consider why it is essential for water tanks to have cathodic protection.

Prevents Corrosion 

Leakage currents from electrified railway networks, neighboring cathodic protection systems, operational welding equipment, and other direct current sources may also impact the pipes or tanks of specific industrial water tank maintenance. 

These leakage currents damage subsurface metal structures by forcing electrolytic corrosion, leading some of them to crack before the plant begins operations. Due to these multiple variations, the soil is one of the most complex corrosive agents. It is impossible to predict how aggressive it will be towards the metallic components (often carbon steel) embedded in it.

Once corrosion has been identified in underground pipes and storage tanks, installing a cathodic protection system can prevent the onset of any corrosion (soil, galvanic, leakage current-related, or all of these together). 


Galvanizing, anodizing, painting, replacing steel with more expensive metals, galvanizing, anodizing, and painting are also essential and widely used corrosion prevention measures. When pipeline sizes are small, above-ground, and easily accessible for maintenance, galvanizing, anodizing, and painting are highly useful. 

High-pressure pipelines transporting oil and gas must be protected against corrosion. At high pressures, it is not cost-effective to maintain a more significant safety factor for plate thickness. This could result in income loss, higher maintenance costs, and plant outages. In such instances, coating and cathodic protection will be the most cost-effective solution.

Offers Safety And Efficiency

With a cathodic protection system, pipes may be operated reliably, even in corrosive soils, providing the highest safety and efficiency. Consider cathodic protection whenever a system is exposed to a harsh environment. It is important to note that it is theoretically possible to apply cathodic protection to buried or submerged pipelines.

Besides coating, cathodic protection can be applied to pipelines. There may be pipeline sections where the coating thickness is less than the standards, and the coating quality could be better. Cathodic protection can also be applied to bare pipelines. 

To Conclude,

By protecting steel infrastructure through installing cathodic protection systems, cathodic protection helps improve the use of assets. Cathodic security is well-known for its ability to protect metal surfaces from corrosion damage. It protects pipelines, tunnels, water treatment plants, offshore production platforms, underwater storage tanks, ship hulls, and more.

Need Tank Refurbishments? Call American Tanks Now!

After you ask us about Water Tank Cleaning, we’ll set up an on-site inspection to see how your tanks are doing. The AM Tanks cleaning team then develops a personalized plan for cleaning and repairs in crucial areas.

We’ll send you a quote for the work you want to be done, then set up a time to visit the site and start the cleaning process. You can reach us at +1 800 656 0167. Make a call today!

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