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PVC Pipes the answer to rampant water main breaks

April 25, 2011

PVC Pipes the answer to rampant water main breaks

Thanks to its resistance to corrosion and its overall durability, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe is a very popular choice for use in clean water distribution systems and the sanitary collection of waste water. At present more than 70% of the new underground water distribution pipes in the United States and Canada are PVC; 75% of the newly installed sanitary sewage systems use PVC piping.

Broken water mains and aging and corroded metal pipes are responsible for some 2.3 trillion gallons of treated water being are lost every year in the United States. As a result of these failing systems, more and more cities are resolving the issue by installing PVC pipe systems that are intended to last into the next century.

Critical Systems
Today’s economy and fast paced society rely on many infrastructures, but the water delivery and wastewater handling infrastructure are likely the most critical. In the United States, nearly 265 million people depend on drinking water systems for clean water. In Canada, more than 31 million residents count on drinking water systems to provide them with safe water.

  • Wastewater systems keep our wastewater systems safe for recreational activities by preventing billions of tons of pollutants from accessing rivers, lakes and coastlines
  • Wastewater systems keep us safe from water-borne disease by reducing illness and related healthcare costs.


  • Efficient and reliable systems enable our society by promoting a $50 billion a year recreation industry, some $300 billion in coastal tourism and $45 billion in commercial fishing;
  •  The manufacturing industry, which generates hundreds of billions of dollars annually, depends on clean water;
  • Clean coastlines, rivers and lakes promote investments in an area which enhances land value, promotes job creation, and increases taxes.

Daily water main breaks
The importance of these water systems is put into light on a daily basis in many communities as the dependability of these critical systems are deteriorating at an alarming rate. Corrosion and failures are threatening safe drinking water and sanitation services; in North America alone, some 700 water main breaks occur every day!

PVC pipes
The popularity of PVC to replace old water mains and its use in newly installed systems is certainly as a result of its greater durability.
In a survey supported by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, 162 responding utilities rated PVC pipe as having a durability of 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5; this rating was the highest amongst all pipe material.

A two-year study carried out by the National Research Council of Canada found that PVC piping has only 0.7 breaks per year for every 100 kilometres of water distribution piping laid. In comparison, cast iron accounts for 35.9 breaks and ductile iron 9.5 breaks.

Every time a pipe fails the resulting costs are enormous, not only to repair the pipe, but the overheads for clean up, business disruptions and resulting illness outbreaks.

  • Versatile

PVC is a versatile product that can be used to pump fresh water into our homes to the toy that will entertain your toddler.

  • Durable

Product made from PVC will not disintegrate or corrode, and require very little maintenance. The ability of PVC to bend and flex without breaking makes it an ideal choice for piping as it is able to handle ground movements caused by unstable or shifting soils, as well as earthquakes.

  • Environment

Less energy is used to produce PVC than many of its rival components and as much as 20% less energy than other plastics. PVC’s most important raw material, making up almost 60% of the vinyl, is derived from common salt, saving on fossil fuels.

  • Recyclable

Vinyl is recyclable and all types of products can be remade into other products.

PVC pipes have been used in drinking water and wastewater systems since the 1950s. Today, a large number of these installations have been thoroughly tested for reliability and safety. These PVC pipe systems are extremely resistant to internal and external corrosion, transfer clean drinking water, and offer a greater flow, are resistant to cracking, even when they are bent or exposed to extreme loads, as well, PVC pipes offer water tight joints.

An important supplier of PVC pipe and fittings, PVC Plus Drilling products makes slotted PVC pipe screen in horizontal and custom patterns and distributes Teflon, CPVC, Stainless Steel and HDPE pipes and fittings. Look to PVC Plus Drilling Products for all your PVC pipe and fittings, drilling related products, as well as many other drilling related products.

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