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.
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 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are two materials used for fittings for municipal PVC pipelines: PVC and ductile iron (DI). This tech brief examines both product types.
Lessons Learned from Ductile Iron Pipe is a six-volume study of iron pipe corrosion. The study was undertaken by the American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association in conjunction with several large consulting engineering companies.
In July 2016 a study was published titled “A Framework to Evaluate the Life Cycle Costs and Environmental Impacts of Water Pipelines.” The study, funded by the Ductile Iron Pipe Association (DIPRA), “aims to develop a Pipe Material Life Cycle Assessment tool (PMLCA) that is capable of analyzing different pipe material scenarios and suggesting the best option to the various decision makers.”
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