Sewer infrastructure maintenance is a costly business, e.g. in America the federal government has required cities to invest more than $15 billion in new pipes since 2007.
The concrete foundations of sewers are often corroded due to additives used in the processing of drinking water. In Australia some concrete pipes are being corroded by up to 90 per cent.
One group who knows this well are the Sewer Corrosion and Odour Research (SCORe) Team at the Advance Water Management Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia, who recently published an article in the journal Science outlining a method to reduce sewer corrosion.