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Water Table

Last updated: June 19, 2020

What Does Water Table Mean?

A water table is the upper surface of an area completely saturated with underground water. This surface separates two subsurface regions composed of soil and rocks. The upper region has pores filled with air and some water, while the lower one is saturated with underground water and no air.

The position of the water table and the composition of the soil are some of the factors that influence the rate of corrosion of metals buried in the soil. The water and air contribute to the formation of moisture, which promotes corrosion.


Corrosionpedia Explains Water Table

Water tables are not flat, and follow the contours of the overlying surface. Other factors that affect the shape include:

  • Capillary effect, which is determined by the type of soil
  • Whether the rock is impermeable or porous

The position of the water table rises and falls depending on:

  • Season
  • Rate of drawing water from wells
  • Water absorbed by plants and vegetation
  • Seasonal moisture
  • Human activity

These factors cause variations in the moisture content, and hence the rate of corrosion on the metals in the soil. A good analysis must be carried out to determine best type of metal and corrosion protection method to use when laying metallic pipes in soil.


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