PVC Pipe and Fittings Manufacturers Annual Meeting

Knowledge and Networking

The Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe and Fitting Manufacturers in the World

Each year the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association members gather for our Annual Meeting – the largest gathering of PVC pipe and fitting manufacturers in the world.

Presentations cover topics ranging from market assessments for PVC pipe, vinyl resin and related chemicals, to sustainability, technology, legislative affairs and product certification. Participants come from around the world, and their ranks include pipe and fitting manufacturers, resin and additive providers, equipment manufacturers, affiliated associations, and non-profit certification agencies. Speakers include academics, business analysts, engineers, municipal officials, taxpayer advocates, public affairs specialists, etc.


49th Annual Meeting

March 20-22, 2023

Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
1500 Reynolds Street
Key West, Florida 33040


Sunday, March 19

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Pre-Meeting Kickoff Reception Grand Ballroom Patio

Monday, March 20

7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Breakfast Keys Ballroom Patio
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
General Meeting Session Big Pine Key/Conch Key/Duck Key Ballrooms
9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Spousal Orientation Keys Ballroom Patio
12:00 PM to 12:30 PM
Meeting of the Associate, International & Certification/Testing Member CommitteeBig Pine Key/Conch Key/Duck Key Ballrooms
Free Afternoon
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Welcome & Networking Reception East Beach

Tuesday, March 21

7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Breakfast Keys Ballroom Patio
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
General Meeting Session Big Pine Key/Conch Key/Duck Key Ballrooms
Free Afternoon

Wednesday, March 22

7:00 AM to 8:00 AM
Breakfast Keys Ballroom Patio
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
General Meeting Session Big Pine Key/Conch Key/Duck Key Ballrooms
12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Board of Directors' Meeting and Luncheon Plantation Key
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Closing/Wrap-Up ReceptionTBD



PVC Myth-Busting: Exposing the Remarkable Reality that has Been Hidden from Us
Chris DeArmitt, Ph.D., FRSC, FIMMM, CChem, President, Phantom Plastics LLC
Society faces tough challenges, and the only way to solve them is to make wise choices based on accurate data. At present, however, society is making poor choices in medical, food packaging, construction, infrastructure, and many other sectors due to our reliance on faulty information propagated online. An extensive review of the peer-reviewed evidence shows that alternative materials are less safe and less green than plastics – the true influence of PVC and other plastics reveals the path to a brighter future.


Hydraulic Testing of PVC Pipe
Steven L. Barfuss, Research Professor, Associate Director, Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University (USU)
Knowing hydraulic friction factors for a pipeline project is critical since it helps determine pipe size, flow velocity, pump size, and more. It is well known that PVC pipe has smooth interior walls, providing good hydraulic characteristics. However, friction factor testing for PVC pipe has not been conducted since the 1970s. With the availability of more precise equipment to measure head loss and flow rate, the PVC Pipe Association felt it was time to reevaluate PVC water and sewer pipe’s hydraulic performance and therefore commissioned Utah State University to undertake testing to determine the PVC pipe’s Hazen-Williams C, Manning’s n, and Darcy friction factor. This presentation will discuss the testing protocols, results and how the information can be used by utilities and consulting engineers for design specifications and pipe projects.

Rethinking Traditional Government Relations
Georganne Burke, Senior Vice President, Pathway Group Inc.
Bruce Hollands, Executive Director, PVC Pipe Association

A look at traditional government relations in the current regulatory, legislative and political environment.

Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Force Main Replacement: Big Pipe to Convey Flow and Provide Redundancy
Kipling R. Gearhart, P.E., Regional Manager, Weston & Sampson
A discussion of the design and construction of a 10,970 linear foot 42-inch PVC force main with two interconnections, enabling the diversion of flow into either one should a break occur. In addition to providing redundancy for the Lower Berkeley Wastewater Treatment Plant, the new pipeline increased pumping capacity of the Regional Pump Station to 28 mgd. The project required removal of a failing 30-inch ductile iron pipe force main and installation of the new PVC piping in the same trench. This presentation will also look at the pros and cons of “remove and replace” installation as well as other construction challenges encountered.

Using Machine Learning Techniques to Optimize Infrastructure Investment for the Region of Peel’s Water Distribution Network
Nimarta Gill, M.Eng., Advisor, Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Planning & Asset Management, Region of Peel 
Imran Motala M.E., P.E, PMP, Manager, Water & Wastewater Infrastructure Planning & Asset Management, Region of Peel

To hold costs down and improve service levels, water utility managers must be able to anticipate network degradation. Accordingly, the Region of Peel has invested in the collection of water main break and other data to better manage its underground infrastructure. Innovative tools and techniques, including AI-based methods and Decision Support Systems, are used to help to plan and optimize investment in water pipelines and replace poorly performing mains with PVC. The Region's break rate dropped by 48% from 2010 to 2018 and is still decreasing. Globally, Peel Region has an excellent risk index with an average annual likelihood of failure of 0.26% per pipe and 2.6 breaks /100 km over the past five years, which is among the lowest failure rates in the world.

Expanding the Acceptance of Large-Diameter PVC Pipe Through Proper Inspection
Chris MacDonald, CEO, CPM Pipelines 
Rudy Dijkstra, CEO, Acquaint

A look at an innovative solution in pipeline inspection based on ultrasound technology and sensors that allow for rapid inspection and verification of pipeline installations, providing utilities with the confidence that their critical underground infrastructure is properly installed. This new technology works for all piping materials but has proven especially beneficial for large-diameter PVC water and sewer pipeline installations. Ensuring new pipelines are correctly installed and which meet or exceed design engineer estimates and material specifications results in better performance and longer pipe life. Understanding this new technology and approach provides an additional tool for PVC pipe manufacturers to promote large-diameter PVC piping as the material of choice.

The State of Trenchless Technology Research and Development for Underground Water and Sewer Infrastructure
John C. Matthews, Ph.D., Director, Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) and Associate Professor, Construction Engineering Technology, Louisiana Tech University
A discussion of the latest research and development at the largest research center in the world dedicated to trenchless technology for buried pipelines and its impacts on the water and wastewater industry. Includes updates for several industry-funded initiatives as well as projects being undertaken by the TTC aimed at moving the industry forward.

Water Main Break Rates in the USA and Canada: A Comprehensive Study
Steven L. Barfuss, Research Professor, Associate Director, Utah Water Research Laboratory, Utah State University (USU)
In 2022 a survey was completed focusing on water main breaks and operating characteristics at utilities in the U.S. and Canada. Similar surveys were undertaken by USU in 2011 and 2017, with reports published in 2012 and 2018. This presentation will discuss the current study results and compare these with previous reports. The latest initiative had a higher participation rate than the previous surveys, and also examines failure rates for different pipe diameters, making this the most comprehensive water main break study ever undertaken in North America. Once again, PVC water pipe was shown to have lowest failure rate. Other metrics are also discussed including typical operational parameters of utilities, installation techniques, soil corrosivity effects, material inventory data, etc. – topics that will be of interest to manufacturers, designers, and water utilities alike.

Housing Market Outlook
Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, Assistant Vice President, Forecasting and Analysis, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
The housing market is an important sector which helps drive PVC water and sewer pipe demand. This session will provide an overview of the macroeconomy, housing market conditions, industry-level details on supply-side headwinds for housing, and the 2023 NAHB forecast for single-family and multifamily construction.

Updated Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for PVC Pipe and CO2 Calculator for Water and Sewer Piping
Tad Radzinski, P.E., SEP, LEED AP, SFP, President, Sustainable Solutions Corporation
A presentation on the environmental impacts of PVC pipe and a new CO2 calculator for water and sewer piping. In 2015 the PVC pipe industry published the only Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for underground piping in North America conducted according to ISO 14025 standards and independently certified by NSF International. It confirmed that PVC pipe has the lowest environmental footprint of all piping materials. The EPD was updated in 2021-2022 and shows an overall reduction of embodied carbon and most other environmental impacts compared to the 2015 study. Plus, a look at a new CO2 calculator developed with the latest data which enables customers to compare the carbon footprint of different pipe materials.

A Large Diameter PVC Gravity Sewer Pipe Success Story in Trinity River Authority, Texas
Marco A. Ramirez, P.E., West Texas Infrastructure Team Leader, Garver
After a large diameter reinforced fiberglass pipe failure, Trinity River Authority (TRW), a state water authority in Texas, was faced with the task of finding a more resilient pipe material for the large diameter gravity sewer pipe projects it was planning. This presentation will focus on why solid-wall large diameter PVC piping was selected as an option for numerous new large gravity sewer pipelines installed by TRW.

Making PVC Pipe from Recycled Material: The Green Solution is “Multi-Layer"
Rob G. Spekreijse, Director of Grace PM Europe
PVC is an easy material to recycle and re-use during the manufacturing process, especially for non-pressure pipe applications. There is a solution available that enables manufacturers to produce the most cost-effective non-pressure PVC pipe, from 1-inch to 32 inches in diameter, using recycled materials. Learn about the different options available to make “multi-layer” PVC pipe, the types of recycled material required, appropriate additives, and extrusion technologies needed.


Steven L. BarfussSteven L. Barfuss is a Research Professor at Utah State University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Associate Director at the Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL). Steve has over 35 years of research experience at the UWRL and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on his research in national and international journals. He also has considerable experience in the hydraulics of pipelines and pipe failures.

Georganne BurkeGeorganne Burke is Senior VP at the Pathway Group Inc. where she is responsible for managing relationships with the Canadian federal government and using her extensive network on behalf of clients. She is a seasoned veteran of North American politics and spent 10 years in a variety of roles with the Conservative Party of Canada and in the offices of ministers and Members of Parliament. Georganne has worked in national campaign war rooms and managed leadership campaigns. One of her areas of expertise is in grassroots outreach to cultural communities. Mrs. Burke also spent a decade as a marketing professional in the publishing and computer industries. She has an MBA in marketing and strategic management, is an avid social media commentator, and a much sought-after political commentator and panelist.

Dr. Chris DeArmittDr. Chris DeArmitt is considered one of the top plastic materials experts and problem-solvers in the world. A luminary in the fields of polymers, functional fillers, innovation, and the environmental aspects of plastics, the Fortune 100 come to him for breakthrough solutions to complex technical problems. Chris has worked with Hewlett Packard, Apple, Proctor & Gamble, iRobot, Eaton, Total, and Disney, to name a few, and solved a serious production issue that had plagued BASF for 30 years and cost them millions. Dr. DeArmitt has received six open innovation cash prizes, placing him among the top 0.01% of innovators. He is an award-winning speaker educating global audiences on plastic materials science and their environmental benefits. Dr. DeArmitt has innumerable publications and patents in addition to the books “Innovation Abyss” and “The Plastics Paradox”, the first comprehensive, scientific overview of plastics materials and their impact on the environment, covering all topics including waste, litter, microplastics, degradation, ocean plastics, and more. He was an expert witness in a class-action lawsuit related to Marlex mesh plastic implants, helping thousands of women get settlements. Media appearances include CBS 60 Minutes, BBC, and Sky News. Dr. DeArmitt is Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Chartered Chemist. 

Rudy-DijkstraRudy Dijkstra, CEO at Acquaint, is a Board Member and founder of HDM Pipelines (2011), Acquaint (2014), and HULO (2021). Rudy has extensive experience and expertise as a pipeline integrity advisor for different kinds of utilities, both domestic and international. Acquaint has developed a revolutionary approach to determine and predict the condition of pressure pipes, providing asset managers with the information and facts they need to predict pipeline failures and set smarter management and maintenance priorities.

Kipling R. GearhartKipling R. Gearhart, P.E., is Regional Manager at Weston & Sampson and has 35 years of experience in the design of public infrastructure facilities and associated public works planning, water and wastewater system extension and rehabilitation, hydraulic modeling and project management. Kip has also worked on complex designs associated with water and wastewater pumping facilities. He is a graduate of The Citadel’s civil engineering program.

Nimarta GillNimarta Gill, M.Eng. is Advisor, Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Planning and Asset Management at the Region of Peel. Over the last 14 years Nimarta has managed the capital water main replacement program for the Region’s underground infrastructure. Her focus is asset management, capital planning, budgeting, and risk management for the water system. Ms. Gill also develops and coordinates the short- and long-term water main replacement programs for linear pipelines up to 24” in diameter in conjunction with the Region’s road program, development applications and sewer replacement activities. Additionally, she manages programs and special projects pertaining to different techniques for rehabilitation, performance measures and condition assessment of linear water infrastructure.

Bruce HollandsBruce Hollands is Executive Director of the PVC Pipe Association. Bruce has worked on underground infrastructure issues with municipalities, water utilities and related state/provincial and federal agencies in North America for more than 25 years. He has extensive experience in association management, business development, marketing and communications, lobbying, public policy, and has consistently advocated for cost-effective solutions and performance improvements in the water and wastewater sector.

Chris MacDonaldChris MacDonald CEO at CPM Pipelines, has 25 years of experience providing specification and design support for water and wastewater projects to consultants and utilities in the U.S. mid- and south-west. Through his work at CPM over the last 10 years, Chris has developed pressure pipe inspection and pipeline rehabilitation technologies and services. CPM has partnered with Acquaint, a company which helps identify pipeline anomalies and defects that cause stresses or degradation in pipe walls which can lead to premature failures – enabling utilities to focus on critical repairs before major problems occur.


John C. MatthewsJohn C. Matthews, PH.D., is Director of the Trenchless Technology Center and the Eminent School Chair of Construction at Louisiana Tech University. He has over 18 years of experience in the rehabilitation, installation and inspection of pipelines. John is the author of more than 250 technical publications on underground pipelines and is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Trenchless Technology (ISTT).

Imran MotalaImran Motala, M.E., P.E., PMP, is Manager of Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Planning and Asset Management at the Region of Peel. He specializes in the areas of asset management, master planning, capital planning, budgeting, risk management and hydraulic modeling. Mr. Motala has worked on various asset management initiatives, including the Region’s water and wastewater asset management strategy, organizational asset management and risk management of the water system.

Danushka-Nanayakkara-SkillingtonDanushka Nanayakkara-Skillington is Assistant Vice President, Forecasting and Analysis at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) where she oversees housing market analysis, industry surveys as well as the development and maintenance of national, regional, long-term, and remodeling expenditures forecasts. Previously, Danushka was a Senior Economist at NAHB where she was responsible for state and local analysis. Prior to joining NAHB, Danushka worked at J.D. Power as a Senior Economic Analyst in the automotive industry.

Tad RadzinskiTad Radzinski is President of Sustainable Solutions Corporation and has nearly 30 years of diversified experience providing sustainable manufacturing, building and operations, marketing, training and education services. He has conducted life cycle assessments and developed Environmental Product Declarations for companies across a wide range of industries.


Marco RamirezMarco Ramirez, P.E., is West Texas Infrastructure Team Leader at Garver and heads up the company’s El Paso, TX office. Over the last 21 years he has worked on large-diameter pipelines in the water and wastewater infrastructure sector, both as a public utility operator and as an engineering consultant. Marco has extensive experience providing pipeline design services and understands the unique challenges of a municipal utility engineer compared to a water authority, having worked for both. In all case, he ensures a project is sustainable and resilient so that it has minimal impact on the environment, reduces long-term costs, and supports future growth.

Rob SpekreijseRob G. Spekreijse is Director of Grace PM Europe, which is a manufacturer of extrusion and recycling machinery.  In 1989 Rob was Managing Director of BOA, a builder of recycling machinery. From 1999 to 2019 Rob was Managing Director at Rollepaal, a world-renowned manufacturer of extrusion lines. During this period, he was also interim CEO of Stork IMM, a producer of injection-moulding machines. In 2019 Rob left Rollepaal and joined Grace PM Europe.  He also manages Klebo, which makes assembly machinery for the packaging sector and Kortegarde, a wine house.


2022 Annual Meeting Program2022 Annual Meeting

2022 and Beyond: Setting our Sights on the Next Decade of Growth
48th Annual Meeting
April 4-6, 2022
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

2022 Annual Meeting Program

2019 Annual Meeting

PVC Pipe in North America: Celebrating
More Than Sixty Years of Success

47th Annual Meeting
March 11-13, 2019
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
San Diego, CA

2019 Annual Meeting Program

2018 Annual Meeting

PVC Pipe: At the Forefront as New Forces
Reshape the Municipal Pipe Market

46th Annual Meeting
March 12-14, 2018
Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Key West, FL

2018 Annual Meeting Program

2017 Annual Meeting

Improving Water Quality, Durability and Safety
in Post-Flint America with PVC Pipe

45th Annual Meeting
February 27 - March 1, 2017
Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains
Scottsdale, AZ

2017 Annual Meeting Program

2016 Annual Meeting

Rebuilding America with PVC Pipe: A New
Threshold for Pipe Performance and Sustainability

44th Annual Meeting
February 22-24, 2016
Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort
Key Largo, FL

2016 Annual Meeting Program

2015 Annual Meeting

The Tipping Point: PVC Pipe in the Age of Replacement
43rd Annual Meeting
February 23 - 25, 2015
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Playa Herradura, Costa Rica

2015 Annual Meeting Program

2014 Annual Meeting

The Future is PVC Pipe
42nd Annual Meeting
March 10-12, 2014
Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

2014 Annual Meeting Program

2013 Annual Meeting

Building A Greener World with PVC Pipe
41st Annual Meeting
April 22-24, 2013
The Resort at Pelican Hill 
Newport Beach, California

2013 Annual Meeting Program

2012 Annual Meeting

Unleashing American Innovation with PVC
Pipe: The Sustainable Solution for Corroding Water & Sewer Systems

40th Annual Meeting
April 23-25, 2012
Marriott Key West Beachside Hotel
Key West, Florida

2012 Annual Meeting Program

2011 Annual Meeting

Smarter Spending For Challenging Times:
Rebuilding America's Water/Wastewater Infrastructure with PVC Pipe

39th Annual Meeting
April 18-20, 2011
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Tucson, Arizona

2011 Annual Meeting Program

2010 Annual Meeting

Fighting Back: Gaining Ground in Tough Economic Times - The World's Largest Gathering of PVC Pipe & Fitting Manufacturers
38th Annual Meeting
April 19-21, 2010
Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa
Marco Island, FL

2010 Annual Meeting Program