Technical Blog

Welcome to John’s Blog. Answers to frequently asked questions are periodically posted here. The objective is to share information about PVC pipe with readers as well as with utilities, design engineers and pipe installers. The blog provides the latest information on PVC pipe design, installation, and application for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

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John Houle: Senior Technical Consultant, PVC Pipe Industry

John Houle holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of Oregon. He has more than 25 years of experience in the plastic pipe industry in applications engineering, market development, forensic analysis, technical writing, and standards development.

Guide: Field-Cutting of PVC Pipe

May 2, 2018  John Houle

PVC Pipe Association's guide for safe and effective field-cutting of PVC pipe.

Proper Installation of PVC Piping

Apr 3, 2018  John Houle

Installation practices for underground infrastructure can play an important role in the performance of pipe networks.

Technical Paper: Evaluating Life Cycle Assessments for Underground Infrastructure

Feb 21, 2018  John Houle

Sustainable Solutions Corporation (SSC) paper on the importance of using transparent and verifiable standards when determining the environmental impacts of a pipe product. No other pipe material has disclosed environmental impacts to as transparent and regulated a degree as the PVC pipe industry.

Ductile Iron Pipe’s Hazen-Williams Flow Coefficient Declines Over Time

Jan 23, 2018  John Houle

The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) states that ductile iron (DI) pipe does not experience a decline in hydraulic performance over time. However, the very document that makes this statement is full of data that contradicts the claim.

AWWA Standards for PVC Pipe - Product Testing

Jan 9, 2018  John Houle

AWWA standards for PVC pipe have been around since 1975. These standards are developed by committees comprised of three groups: • Product user members (water utilities) • Product manufacturer members • “General interest” members (from consulting engineers, certifying agencies, etc.)

PVC Pipe and Fittings Materials – Testing Requirements

Dec 6, 2017  John Houle

In my three decades in the PVC pipe industry, I have noticed that many design engineers and utility personnel are surprised when they learn about the testing regimen that is followed by PVC pipe manufacturers.

ISO for LCA - Best Practices for Environmental Evaluation of Water and Sewer Pipes

Nov 21, 2017  John Houle

The International Standards Organization (ISO) has developed a series of standards on environmental management. These standards, known collectively as the “14000 series,” were first published almost twenty years ago and have become the “go-to” standards for environmental topics.

PVC Fittings for Sewer Pipe

Nov 7, 2017  John Houle

My tech brief on PVC sewer-pipe fittings begins by comparing outside-diameter controlled dimensions (“OD-controlled”) to inside-diameter controlled dimensions (“ID-controlled”). While this discussion is somewhat dry, it provides essential background information.

Leaching of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM): Not An Issue for AWWA PVC Water Pipe

Oct 24, 2017  John Houle

Despite the allegations of competitors, the bottom line is that leaching of VCM from PVC pipe into drinking water is not an issue for concern.

PVC Pipe Joints - Trenchless Options

Oct 13, 2017  John Houle

In trenchless installations, pipes are typically pushed or pulled into position. This pushing or pulling causes loads on the pipes that are not encountered during open-cut construction. As a result, the PVC pipe industry has developed four types of restrained-joint systems for trenchless projects.