What Is The Risk Of Plastic Pipe Long-Term Degradation On Water Quality?

Posters # 2012 Barcelona

Plastic piping products present the advantage of not being affected by electrochemical corrosion. However, they can be severely degraded after long-term service by oxidation process notably in presence of chlorinated disinfectant. This study was conducted in order to investigate the impact of plastic pipe degradation on water quality. Polyethylene (PE) connections, with various service times from water networks disinfected by chlorine and chlorine dioxide were collected. In parallel, new pipes made with PE, cross-linked PE and unplasticized polyvinyl chloride, were aged in an accelerated manner using an ageing bench. Results confirmed plastic pipe degradation by oxidation following their exposure to disinfectant notably chlorine dioxide. Testing performed on pipes aged on the bench showed that water quality can be severely impacted in certain circumstances following polyolefin pipe degradation. However, testing performed on in-situ pipes did not highlight a link between the deterioration of water organoleptic properties and pipe degradation level. Lastly, waters in contact with all plastic pipes contained few organic compounds notably antioxidant by-products. Keywords Ageing, Disinfectant, Drinking Water, Organic Pollutant, Plastic Pipe, Taste-and-Odor

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