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 To do this, local governments and utilities need to modernize outdated procurement practices that ignore corrosion-proof PVC pipe.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

Sustainable PVC Pipe Helps Reduce Water Main Breaks in Indianapolis

Posted By Bruce Hollands on Jul 10, 2012

A recent article by Indianapolis Mayor Gregory A. Ballard, which appeared in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council Newsletter, discusses how water main breaks declined in his city through the use of green, durable and cost-effective PVC pipe, realizing significant savings for rate payers. PVC pipe’s unequalled resistance to corrosion and its exceptional performance helped reduce costs and water main breaks in the city: “As we explored repair and replacement options we found that alternative pipe materials like PVC pipes have demonstrated superior performance… We also learned through life cycle analysis that PVC pipe has both a longer useful life than traditional pipe materials, and has a lower cost to both install and maintain… PVC pipes in our system have a failure rate 2.5 times less than traditional pipe materials,” writes Ballard. Click here to read article.

Open Bidding Practices Key

Mayor Ballard also serves as Co-Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council. Like his colleagues, Mayors Water Council Co-Chair Mayor Jennifer Hosterman of Pleasanton (CA) and former Co-Chair, Schenectady (NY) Mayor Brian Stratton, he emphasizes the importance of opening local procurement practices to alternative piping materials: “Water and wastewater operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, nationally, are increasing by six percent above inflation annually. Using a non-corrosive material is critical to keeping long-term maintenance costs down and minimizing our capital replacement budgets,” explains Ballard.

State and Federal Lawmakers/Policy Makers Concerned About Lack of Competition for Piping

The growing awareness that corrosion and the lack of open bidding for piping are major problems in the U.S. water utility sector is also attracting the attention of state and federal lawmakers, who are considering including open procurement stipulations in funding bills for local water and wastewater projects. A report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank, Fixing America’s Crumbling Underground Water Infrastructure: Competitive Bidding Offers a Way Out, suggests the EPA issue open procurement “guidelines for its State Revolving Funds program.” All of this underscores the need for municipalities to open up their procurement processes in an effort to tackle corrosion and reduce the costs associated with upgrading the nation’s deteriorating water and sewer systems. “The task at hand,” is to find the “most efficient and cost-effective solutions… Cities that have opened up the bidding process to PVC pipe have benefitted from the competition,” notes the report. Click here to read report.