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Microbiological Influenced Corrosion - a Major Concern for Fire Suppression Systems


EMSL Analytical offers MIC testing solutions to help prevent costly repairs and ongoing maintenance problems.

Westmont, NJ

Microbial influenced corrosion (MIC) has been a topic of concern for fire sprinkler systems in buildings and other facilities for years. The microbial organisms that are associated with MIC cause accelerated corrosion in many types of metals and alloys and are found across the nation.

Many different types of bacteria can cause MIC. They can be both aerobic and anaerobic. When problems from MIC occur in plumbing they tend to be localized with the microbe forming a pit in the pipe material covered by a nodule. There can be any number of these nodules in a given area. Within the nodules a host of different microbes may be thriving together.

The wide variety of bacteria associated with MIC can cause problems in almost any type of residential, commercial or industrial setting. Since many of these bacteria are found naturally in our environment it is extremely difficult to prevent their entering fire suppression systems and other forms of plumbing.

Once MIC is established in a system it can be quite difficult to eliminate and may lead to costly ongoing operating and maintenance issues. Their corrosive nature can allow some microbes the ability to penetrate metal pipes in as few as a couple of years. There are several ways to test for MIC and one of the most nondestructive methods is to simply determine the types and quantities of microbes present in a system.

EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s largest microbial and material testing laboratories, has expertise in all types of MIC related analytical procedures. “Prevention of MIC takes constant awareness and regular testing of sprinkler systems,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President for EMSL Analytical. “EMSL’s scientists can quickly and accurately identify bacteria associated with MIC to help prevent the microbes from causing costly damage.”

To learn more about MIC or other testing needs please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of consumer product, environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 Microbiological Corrosion
 Fire Suppression Systems
 MIC Profiles metals alloy
 microbe forming pit
 bacteria sprinklers

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