Pipe Issues Blog

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North America's underground infrastructure is crumbling at an alarming rate, so smarter, more cost-effective and sustainable practices are needed.

Broader use of PVC pipe would solve this problem and enable municipalities to spend taxpayer dollars more wisely. To do this, local governments and utilities need to modernize outdated procurement practices that ignore corrosion-proof PVC pipe.

Explore our web site and visit my blog to learn about the exceptional performance and environmental attributes of PVC pipe, and why it should be included in every bid for water and wastewater infrastructure. To connect to my blog, bookmark this page or link our Pipe Issues Blog to your RSS feed program.

Industry expert and Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association President & CEO Bruce Hollands shares the facts.

Bruce Hollands

The Health, Safety, and Environmental Performance of PVC Pipe

Posted By Bruce Hollands on Feb 19, 2024

The Health, Safety, and Environmental Performance of PVC PipeThe PVC Pipe Association has published a position paper titled “The Health, Safety, and Environmental Performance of PVC Pipe.” The document provides a rational discussion that addresses the three topics in detail. The paper’s findings should not be a surprise for anyone who has actively followed the industry and carefully reviewed the science involved. Below are a few examples of topics found in the paper.

Maximizing Safety

  • Health and Safety
    • Water-quality testing: more than 70 years of independent testing have confirmed that PVC pipe conforms to all North American water quality standards and regulations.
    • Long-term water quality: PVC pipe’s resistance to corrosion helps to ensure that drinking water quality is maintained throughout its 100+ year service life.
    • Pipe production: compared to typical manufacturing industries, plastic piping production experiences far fewer injuries and illnesses.
    • Pipe installation: PVC pipe is lighter than other pipe materials, making it safer for workers to handle and install.
    • Raw materials: ingredients used in the manufacture of PVC pipe are publicly listed and have been verified as safe for use in drinking water delivery systems.

Infrastructure for a Greener World

  • Environment
    • Recyclable and highly sustainable: PVC pipe can be recycled back into new pipe up to eight times and its manufacturing produces virtually no waste. Also, more than 99% of PVC pipe used for infrastructure projects is utilized, so effectively no scrap is sent to landfills or burned in incinerators.
    • Environmental impacts: studies confirm that PVC is the most environmentally friendly pipe material.
      Environmental evaluation: PVC pipe has been evaluated through a rigorous third-party life cycle analysis (LCA) per stringent ISO standards, a process no other pipe material in North America has undergone.
    • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: throughout its entire life cycle, GHGs are lower for PVC pipe than for alternative pipe materials.
      Climate: PVC pipe manufacturing is climate-friendly because it is powered by the electrical grid and can take advantage of renewable wind, solar and other green energy sources.

The last section of the paper titled “References” contains links to almost 30 sources that provide additional information.

Click here to view the report.