Lower cost, proven long term durability and resistance to corrosion make PVC pipes the ideal pipeline solution for water transfer.
Economic benefits of PVC Pipes
When installation, low breakage rates and life cycle costs are taken into consideration, PVC pipes offer significant cost savings for projects. Recent studies have proven that projects can save 30% on installation time when using a PVC sewer pipe system.
Pipe blockages are a major concern for any engineer, with each pipe blockage meaning significant maintenance and repair costs. Slower water flow through pipelines can potentially create more blockages and failures in a project with many connections. The extremely smooth lining of PVC pipe - when compared to a copper, clay or concrete pipe – increase the speed of water transfer through the pipeline and make it extremely difficult for sediment to accumulate. Bacteria and other particles have virtually no chance to attach themselves to the inner walls – a major advantage as accumulations on the pipe walls can result in diminished life expectancy, costly maintenance and inconvenient repairs.
The longevity of PVC pipes also means the pipes function more efficiently, reducing maintenance and ongoing work to the pipe making it more affordable over time.
Long lasting proven durability
A report from Utah State University Buried Structures Laboratory by Steven Folkman, titled PVC Pipe Longevity Report, used an Australian case study to prove the long-term service of PVC pipes and to assess any deterioration or degradation in their service. The case study used in the report demonstrated the 100+ year benchmark standard for PVC Pipes service.
In fact, A Water Research Foundation study published in 2005 tiled, “Long term performance predictions for PVC pipes,”concluded that 100 years is a conservative estimate for a properly designed and installed pipe.
A major finding of the USU study is that water utilities can reduce water main breaks and operations and maintenance costs by including corrosion-proof PVC piping in their replacement programs. Earlier research by USU showed that corrosion of iron piping is a major problem for water systems and newer metallic pipes are experiencing failures more rapidly than older types because of their thinner walls.
Corrosion Resistance is key to performance and longevity
Most people believe that old age is the primary contributor to iron water main breaks. However, the problem isn’t age – it’s corrosion.
A University of Newcastle, Australia report from Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability concluded that, “A significant proportion of Australia’s ageing water infrastructure is composed of cast iron and steel cement lined pipes, which are prone to corrosion on the external surfaces that are in contact with soil. The corrosion and failure of cement lined cast iron water mains is a significant problem for the Australian water industry.”
Continuing focus on simply fixing water pipeline breaks are a stopgap measure – Australian utilities and local and state governments need to look longer term and commit resources to updating their corrosion prone old pipes with corrosion free PVC pipes with a life expectancy of minimum 100 years.
Studies from both Australia and overseas have consistently shown that PVC pipes have the lowest failure rates of all pipe types, contribute to faster installation times, less maintenance and long life durability and longevity. Their use in water pipeline projects contribute to a more economically viable and environmentally sustainable pipeline.