Materials and Structures

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 367–372 | Cite as

Effect of cement paste on drinking water

  • Adam Neville
Technical Reports


When water conduits are made of concrete or are lined with cement mortar, the cement paste can be leached by water. This occurs to a significant degree if the water remains in prolonged contact with the cement paste. The consequences of leaching are an increase in pH and in the content of CaCO3. Recent rules of the European Union endeavour to deal with this problem.

As the tolerable amount of leachate depends on the original properties of the water, tests are not easy to perform. The use of admixtures and of high-alumina cement are discussed. The actual levels of various chemical species in different waters in service and of tolerable quantities of these species need to be established so that a safe use of cement in conduits can be assured.


Portland Cement Calcium Carbonate Hydrated Cement Calcium Aluminate Ground Granulate Blast Furnace Slag 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Dans des conduits en béton ou doublés en mortier, la pâte de ciment peut être lixiviée par l'eau. La lixiviation est considérable si l'eau reste en contact avec le ciment pendant une longue période. Les conséquences de la lixiviation sont une hausse du pH et du contenu de CaCO3. De récentes décisions de l'Union Européenne essaient de contrôler ce problème.

Vu que la quantité tolérable du lixiviat dépend des propriétés préalables de l'eau, les essais ne sont pas faciles. L'article discute de l'usage des adjuvants et du ciment alumineux. Il est nécessaire d'établir les niveaux des différentes espèces chimiques dans diverses eaux en usage et leurs quantités tolérables pour que l'on puisse assurer un bon usage du ciment dans des conduits.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Neville, A., ‘Water and concrete: a love-hate relationship’,Concrete International 21 (Dec. 2000) 64–68.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Conroy, P., Fielding, M. and Wilson, I., ‘Investigating the effect of pipelining materials on water quality’,Water Supply 11 (3–4) Berlin (1993) 343–354.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Douglas, B. D., Merrill, D. T. and Catlin, J. O., ‘Water quality deterioration from corrosion of cement-mortar linings’,Journal of American Water Works Association 88 (7) (1996) 99–107.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Lawrence, C. D., ‘International review of the composition of cement pastes, mortars, concretes and aggregates likely to be used in water retaining structures’, Department of the Environment, London (Oct. 1994).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Taylor, M. G., ‘Concrete in contact with drinking water—developments in Europe’, British Cement Association (May 2000).Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    British Standard BS 6920: Part 1: 1990, ‘Suitability of non-metallic products for use in contact with water intended for human consumption with regard to their effect on the quality of water: Specification’, British Standards Institution (1990).Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Conroy, P. J.: ‘Deterioration of water quality in distribution systems: the effect of water quality arising from in situ cement lining’, Water Research Centre, Swindon, England, (1991).Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Drinking Water Inspectorate, ‘List of authorised cement admixture components’ Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, London (May 2000).Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Schoenen, D., ‘Influence of materials on the microbiological colonization of drinking water’, in Microbiology in Civil Engineering (Ed. P. Howson, Spon: 1990).Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Wagner, I., Internal corrosion of pipes in public water distribution networks’, International Report, DVGW Research Institute, Karlsruhe, Germany (1998).Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Concrete Society Working Party, ‘Calcium aluminate cements in construction—a re-assessment’, Technical Report, 46, The Concrete Society, England (1997).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Scrivener, K. L. and Capmas, A., ‘Calcium aluminate cements’, in ‘Lea's Chemistry of Cement and Concrete’, 4th Edn. (Arnold, 1998) 709–778.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© RILEM 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Neville
    • 1
  1. 1.A&M Neville EngineeringLondonUK

Personalised recommendations