Project: New Maline Creek Storage Facility With Penetron Technology

February 25, 2021
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According to Penetron, Project Clear's new Maline Creek Storage Facility now offers protection to the North St. Louis Watershed from combined sewer overflows previously encountered during rainstorms. Penetron's innovative antimicrobial concrete admixture protects key precast concrete elements from microbially-induced corrosion (MIC). 

What is the project? 

To improve water quality and lessen the wastewater problems throughout the St. Louis region, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has taken monumental steps. One aspect of Project Clear's $82 million project is the Maline Creek Storage Facility - a 2,700-foot-long, 28-foot diameter storage tunnel built 175 feet below the surface. 

When was it completed? 

December 2020.

What was the problem? 

During times of heavy rain, the sewer system of St. Louis City and much of St. Louis County, served by aging sewer pipes, can be overwhelmed. This quickly results in combined sewer overflows (CSO) dumping untreated wastewater into area rivers and streams. One of these rivers is Maline Creek, a small tributary that runs along the northern edge of the city of St. Louis and empties into the Mississippi River.

“The existing combined sewers were constructed through the mid-1900s. They carry a set amount of rainwater and wastewater in the same pipe,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The Penetron Group. “During calm weather, everything works fine. These pipes can handle the wastewater and collected rainwater and carry it to the treatment plant. However, during heavy rain or significant snowmelt, the wastewater can quickly exceed the capacity of the sewer system or the treatment plant, resulting in ‘combined sewer overflows,’ or CSOs.”

What was the solution?

The project built a new facility that will store excess water and sewage during heavy weather. After the rain subsides, a pump station will transfer the stored runoff and wastewater back into the system for treatment at the Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.

What was Penetron's role in the project?

Penetron's concrete admixture prevents microbially-inuced corrosion, and keeps bacteria away.

The project contractors needed a solution to prevent microbially-induced corrosion (MIC) in the concrete structures of the Maline Creek Storage Facility. MSD and the project engineers pinpointed specific concrete structures that were most susceptible to MIC. Penetron worked with the precast manufacturer, to add the antimicrobial concrete admixture to protect key precast concrete elements.

Similar to the company’s well-known PENETRON ADMIX, the antimicrobial admixture is added to the concrete mix during batching. The admixture uses an electro-physical mechanism to destroy the cell-walls of micro-organisms, such as thiobacillus bacteria, on contact, which converts hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) into biogenic sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The formation of biogenic sulfuric acid causes concrete to deteriorate, in a process known as MIC. This antimicrobial admixture is a permanent solution – it forms part of the concrete matrix and is leach-resistant. The effectiveness of this antimicrobial admixture is not lessened by repeated contact with bacteria, providing the much-needed long-term MIC protection.

Christopher Chen adds: “This new admixture will continue to provide the needed durability to the concrete and virtually eliminate any future repair of the treated precast concrete structures.”

Project Specs

27-feet long.
28-feet diameter surface.

About Penetron

The Penetron Group is a leading manufacturer of specialty construction products for concrete waterproofing, concrete repairs and floor preparation systems. The Group operates through a global network, offering support to the design and construction community through its regional offices, representatives and distribution channels.

For more information on Penetron crystalline technology solutions, please visit, email: or contact our Corporate Relations Department at 631-941-9700.

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