Papers # 2018 Las-Vegas
A recent survey again confirms that PVC pipe has the lowest break rate when compared with break rates of ductile and cast iron, asbestos cement, steel, and concrete pipe. Other results of interest to water utilities and engineers are discussed.
During 2017, Utah State University conducted a survey of utilities across the US and Canada to obtain data on water main failures of municipal and private water supply systems. In 2012, a very similar survey was conducted by Utah State University and presented in the 2012 Plastic Pipes Conference in Barcelona1 . The 2012 survey showed that PVC had the lowest break rate when compared with asbestos cement, concrete, ductile iron, cast iron, and steel pipe materials. After six years, it was time to complete a similar survey that could examine any changes and current trends with respect to water main break rates. The latest survey had a greater participation rate than the 2012 survey and is believed to be the most comprehensive water main break survey ever completed in the US. The results of the latest survey again demonstrate that the break rate for PVC pipe remains the lowest break rate material when compared with asbestos cement, concrete, ductile iron, cast iron, and steel pipe materials. The latest survey also shows that break rates of cast iron and asbestos cement pipes have significantly increased and utilities should increase replacement rates of those materials. A number of other results are discussed including typical operational parameters of utilities, installation techniques, soil corrosivity effects, material inventory data, and other items that will be of interest to manufacturers, designers, and water utilities.