Pipelines do not stop flowing during a recession. These tough times, however, mean municipal water managers must maintain their underground infrastructure as cost-effectively as possible.
A growing number of communities are saving significantly on pipeline repair and rehabilitation projects with fused polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe systems. Installation is fast and non-disruptive, and municipalities get more flow for their rand because fused PVC pipe can provide a larger interior diameter (ID) with an outside diameter (OD) and working pressure equivalent to those of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe.
Until 2006, the primary pipe material used for trenchless applications was HDPE. The advent of fused PVC pipe systems provides owners, designers and contractors an alternative that is compatible with the PVC and ductile iron pipe already prevalent in many utility systems.
In slip lining applications, fused PVC pipe provides a fully structural replacement pipe (independent of the host pipe) while providing greater ID and flow capacity compared to HDPE pipe at a given pressure class. Greater ID also translates to lower annual pumping and operating costs. Evaluated over the life of the pipeline, these savings can be significant.
ADVANTAGES OF PVC FUSING
• Elimination of nearly all gasketed joints
• Restrained joints without external harnesses
• Larger flow area for the same outside diameter than HDPE
• Standard ductile iron and industrial pipe sizes
• Simple connection and reconnection
• Sizes range from 3″ through 36″ with larger sizes (42″ and 48″) to be available in the near future
• HDPE pipe can be heat fused together to form a joint that is as strong as or stronger than the pipe itself and is leak free.
• This eliminates the potential leak points every 10-20 feet as found with PVC and Ductile Iron bell and spigot connections.
• The Life Cycle Cost of HDPE pipe differs from other pipe materials because the “allowable water leakage” is zero rather than typical leakage rates of 10 to 20% for PVC and Ductile Iron.
• HDPE pipe fused joints are self restraining and costly thrust restraints or thrust blocks are not required.
• HDPE pipe’s fused joints simply do not leak, eliminating infiltration and exfiltration problems experienced with alternate pipe joints.