Water Infrastructure

In applications from water delivery and sprinkler systems to sewage transport and DWV, PVC plays a critical role in providing reliable, durable piping service.

Piping is an important, functional part of most buildings. Although seldom seen, it is needed to deliver clean water for drinking and other purposes. It is also needed to convey waste water away from buildings for treatment and subsequent reuse. A variety of piping materials is available today. Foremost among them is polyvinyl chloride or PVC.

PVC is:

  • The predominant material used in drain, waste and vent applications.
  • Used extensively in cold water delivery systems to or for buildings.
  • Formulated as chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe for use in hot and cold water delivery systems in buildings.
  • Used in larger diameter piping applications outside buildings for water distribution and transmission, sanitary sewers, storm sewers and culverts and industrial piping systems.
  • PVC pipe is available in a variety of lengths, diameters and pressure classes. It has a full complement of standard fittings, valves and couplings.
  • And it is compatible with other pipe materials, so it can be specified for either new construction or system upgrades.

Water Saving

Some 2.6 trillion gallons of water are lost annually in the United States alone, primarily as a result of premature pipe corrosion leaks and breaks. This amount of lost water would satisfy the drinking water needs of every man, woman and child on earth for a year. The annual lost revenue to water utilities is estimated to total $2.98 billion.

The aging and deteriorating U.S. water infrastructure consists mostly of cast iron and ductile iron pipe. Highly susceptible to corrosion, these systems account for hundreds of water main breaks a day throughout North America. A solution to this problem is PVC pipe.

The largest amount of vinyl resin produced in the United States goes into PVC pipe. Being immune to corrosion and its overall durability has made PVC pipe a popular choice for clean water distribution systems, and sanitary collection of waste water.

PVC pipe accounts for more than 70 percent of new buried water distribution pipes being installed in the United States and Canada. More than 75 percent of newly installed sanitary sewer systems feature PVC pipe.

Municipalities also are finding that PVC can be a benefit in pipe rehabilitation. A new ANSI/NSF 61-certified PVC water line renewal system is making the traditional dig-and-replace method obsolete. PVC liners can be inserted through existing lines, with minimal excavation, then pumped through with hot water to make the liners expand and mold to the old lines’ interiors.

But perhaps even more important, water utility managers who have chosen PVC are leaving a legacy of good stewardship for future generations. By increasing the useful life of new infrastructure, a utility will eventually relieve future managers, water system ratepayers and even the federal government from the burden of constant system repair and replacement. By selecting a product with a predicted life exceeding 200 years, the replacement crisis systems currently face every 20 to 30 years will be a thing of the past.


Neskowin Regional Water District North Marshland Waterline Crossing
The Neskowin Regional Water District was presented with the challenge of reestablishing a connection between two potable water pressure zones that spanned across former ranchlands that have since been restored to a native marshland by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

PVC: An Affordable Way to Fix Baltimore’s Leaky Pipes
Jennifer Hosterman, mayor of Pleasanton, Calif., and co-chair of the Mayors Water Council, wrote recently that in her city PVC has turned out to be about 70 percent cheaper than ductile iron because not only is the initial cost smaller, it is lighter and less expensive to install and does not require corrosion protection.

PVC Pipe Installations Recommended in Drought-Stricken Areas
When 2011′s historic drought and searing 100-degree temperatures put added pressure on the city’s aging infrastructure, it sprouted 11,000 leaks. Some of these ruptured pipes gushed for days and weeks.

PVC Pipe Brings Clean Water to Haitian Village
Directed by Patrick Shen and narrated by Don Cheadle with music scored by Sigur Ros, the documentary “La Source” revolves around Josue Lajeunesse, a janitor at Princeton University, and his dream to build a clean water system for his native Haitian village.

Park Service Invests in Miles of PVC Pipe to Restore National Mall
From water delivery to waste water removal, PVC pipe is a main compontent in the restoration project on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

PVC Pipe Fights Poverty in Developing Countries
In the field of water supply, there is hardly a subject on which opinions very so widely, and on which temperaments flare so easily, as on the subject of hand pumps.

PVC Pipe Solves Water Infrastructure Problems Nationwide
Each day 850 water main breaks occur in North America.  Thus, more and more municipalities coast-to-coast are solving the problem by installing durable PVC pipe systems designed to last more than 100 years.

Vinyl Institute Supports Water Infrastructure Improvements
The Vinyl Institute submitted written testimony to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works highlighting PVC pipe as the preferred high-performance pipe solution for old and failing water infrastructure systems throughout the United States.

PVC Pipe Projects Replace Faulty Water Systems Nationwide
Following an unprecedented number of broken water mains and corroded pipe systems failing residents and businesses the past few months, more and more municipalities coast to coast are solving the problem by installing durable PVC pipe systems designed to last into the next century.

PVC Pipeline Brings Running Water  & Relief to Honduran Village
In Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, many small villages do not have access to basic resources such as clean and affordable water.  Soon, PVC pipe provided by members of the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association will deliver running water to every home here.

New PVC Pipe Projects Replace Faulty Water Systems Nationwide
With broken water mains and corroded pipe systems failing residents and businesses, more and more municipalities coast to coast and beyond are solving the problem by installing durable PVC pipe systems designed to last into the next century.

St. Thomas Replaces Leaky Water Main w/New PVC Pipe System
The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority recently completed a two-phase project to upgrade and replace old and faulty ductile iron pipes with a new PVC water system on St. Thomas.

PVC Project Shuts Down Arsenic & Old Pipe in No. Dakota Town
 A multi-million dollar infrastructure project in this small city in southeastern North Dakota is replacing World War II-era underground sewer and water pipes with a new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) system.

PVC Pipe the Nationwide Solution to Failing Water Systems
With prolonged cold temperatures and record snowfalls throughout the country this winter, municipalities throughout the United States are replacing faulty and aging pipes with durable PVC pipe systems.

PVC Replaces Crumbling Clay Sewer in New Haven, MI
A new PVC pipe installation project will prevent further costly and messy sewer back-ups of homes in New Haven, a suburb of Detroit.

Stillwater Runs PVC Pipe to Replace Failed Sewer Line
Stillwater Water Utilities workers will use PVC pipe to replace a deteriorated 8-inch sewer line, to be completed by August 2010.

Non-Profit Brings PVC Pipe/Clean Water to Impoverished Villages
What began as a teenage jaunt away from home for two Miami teenagers has turned into a lifelong mission to build PVC/vinyl aqueducts in some of the most remote villages of the Dominican Republic.

Now, A Clear Choice for Outdoor PVC Pipe Applications
A clear PVC piping that is suitable for exposure to sunlight has recently been introduced.

The Pipe Crisis Beneath NYC
A call for New York City to modernize its procurement policies to lift the ban on polyvinyl-chloride
pipe manufacturers from bidding on city contracts, virtually guaranteeing that corroded iron pipes will be replaced by newer, corrosion-prone pipes.

Sustainable Solutions for Water Infrastructure Without Soaking Taxpayers
The water and wastewater problem is one of monumental scope. Each year, more than 300,000 water main breaks occur throughout North America – or some 850 every day – mainly as a result of the continued
use of corrosion-prone iron piping in the nation’s water systems.

Promoting Sustainable Water Systems
One of the greatest challenges America currently faces as a nation deals with its water systems. From managing fresh water sources to treating and delivering high-quality water to the tap, water
impacts personal health and economic well-being.

Underground Water Infrastructure: Getting Results in Indianapolis
Indianpolis Mayor Gregory Ballard: “As we explored repair and replacement options we found that alternative pipe materials like PVC pipes have demonstrated superior performance in soil conditions present in our city.”

The Epidemic of Corrosion:  Examining Pipe Life
In the water and wastewater utility industry there exists a serious epidemic when looking at the corrosion in an aging system.

Fight Back Against Rising Water Bills
Ratepayers and taxpayers beware: the pipes serving you are corroding, and closed procurement policies are preventing the less expensive replacement option of using corrosive-proof pipe materials.

Pleasanton’s Underground Infrastructure: Sustainability, Cost-Efficiency Through Better Materials Procurement Practices
As a solution to corrosion and to better control costs, Pleasanton began using corrosion-proof PVC pipe in the mid-1980s because it doesn’t need coatings, liners, or other materials to ensure strength or sustainability.

Viewpoint: Fix Procurement Rules Before Fixing Faulty Pipes
One good place to start would be to reform local procurement practices to include asset-management,
lifecycle and performance criteria.

Pipe Corrosion an Avoidable Budget-Buster
Pipe represtents the single largest compenent of a water utility’s assets and significantly affects operations and maintenance costs.

Getting the Best Bang for the Buck in the Nation’s Infrastructure
While piping is rarely seen by the public, its effect on budgets is significant. Investment in electricity, water, sewer and transportation infrastructure – all of which is expiring simultaneously – will require $6.5 trillion over the next 25 years. Of that, water and sewer lines alone will need from $660 billion to $1.1 trillion over 20 years.

Ohio City Selects PVC Pipe for Emergency Renovation Project
City officials found the best solution to repairing a 24-inch water transmission main was installing a 20-inch fusible PVC pipe slipline inside the existing main.

Napier Field, AL Approved for PVC Pipe Renovation Project
Dale County, in dire need of funding to help with water problems affecting over 300 residents, was finally accepted for a grant that will replace leaky cast-iron pipes with PVC pipes.

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