The qualities of polyethylene pipe are piquing the interest more civil engineers of potable water systems in Canada And America.
The telecommunications and utility industries have long used HDPE pipe fittings to guard fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but utilization of the material for drinking water systems remains trickling slowly toward acceptance in a few places.
In Michigan, Los Angeles-based JM Eagle’s offer to replace all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic amounts of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not only a study of three types of pipe materials – PE, cross-linked PE (PEX) and copper – but a lunch-and-learn session about PE pipe with engineers.
Dustin Langston, an engineer at WL Plastics Corp., that is based in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a telephone interview that his presentation went on the allotted hour without any objections.
“The information was taken well; they had plenty of great questions. It was actually an extremely productive meeting,” he was quoted saying.
With estimated annual sales of $2.45 billion and yearly pipe sales of $340 million, respectively, JM Eagle and WL Plastics are the initial- and 11th-ranked manufacturers of plastic pipe, profiles and tubing in Canada And America, according to Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down in the last year as a result of 40 % drop popular from your oil and gas gathering industry, in line with the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association based in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as Usa cities look to obtain the lead from their systems and make some $1 trillion of upgrades over the next twenty five years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting at the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and a handful of others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work for Flint until June 30 – the town wants to employ a staff engineer now – however the firm will probably be solicited for future work, the metropolis said in the statement.
The presentation focused on high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main knowledge about HDPE currently is employing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got lots of wide eyes when he mentioned cellular phone approach to pipe bursting. Some of the attendees had been aware of the technology before.
A trenchless method for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically utilized in the 1970s in the uk. The method involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits through the house and street, where the service line meets the distribution line or water main. A cone-shaped drilling head by using a slightly larger diameter compared to old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front side end of your bursting head is linked to a pulling cable and also the back end is attached to HDPE pipe fittings. Because the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter of your cavity for your new pipe.
The previous pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace three or four service lines every day at 75 percent of the price of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 percent off of the price,” he added. “You don’t ought to dig up people’s lawns or take out people’s driveways. You save on needing to replace those activities and you’re not disturbing the neighborhood. In civil engineering, there’s a whole new aspect that’s rarely taken into account and that’s social interference. We always speak about cost but what isn’t measurable cost wise will be the calls and complaints to city offices about construction, noise, debris and dug-up yards. Several things are suddenly avoided using trenchless technologies.”
Livonia, Mich., used HDPE pipe from Charter Plastics Inc., which is the No. 77 ranked PPT extruder, to exchange 27,000 feet of cracking, leaking iron pipes from April through October 2008. The Titusville, Pa.-based company has estimated sales of $35 million a year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone compared to ductile iron and after that used pipe bursting to install it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues in regards to the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One from the greatest advantages of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s very easy to install, it’s less disruptive … plus it saves trees,” Zilincik said within a May 2016 testimonial for your Alliance for PE Pipe, which is based in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the usage of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems within the Usa and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially results in a single pipeline free from leaks that may be miles long.
“It’s completely welded together,” Langston said. “It won’t leak, corrode or rust and it’s durable using a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches out from polyethylene pipe. In the event you have a look at all of the food packaging, whether it be milk, soda, water bottles or food, the excellent majority of that may be PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 percent of your municipal water market, according to estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised the installation techniques for HDPE pipe got a lot of attention at the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an incredible story for your plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – with regards to trenchless installation,” he stated in the telephone interview. “What it may do in terms of saving money is a huge deal.”
Along with pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe may be used to replace existing pipes with a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst that old pipe; you make use of it a host pipe,” Radoszewski said.
Then, there’s HDD for installing new lines of pipe. A drilling head is sent down an entry pit in an angle and leveled out for a distance. It appears back using an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the single largest niche for HDD using a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are on the rise, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to your projected 19.9 percent this current year, based on the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution can be another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE has become the No. 1 pipe materials used for HDD by using a whopping 49.9 percent market share in comparison to 22.3 percent for PVC, 14.2 percent for steel pipe and 9.1 percent for ductile iron, the survey also says.
Flint looks to change approximately 5,000 LSLs and 10,000 galvanized steel lines, which corrode and then leave nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The current pipes were damaged when lead leached to the system once the method to obtain water was switched from Lake Huron on the caustic Flint River without adding any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to mend Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe vary from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and more by others. Bids to exchange LSLs at 500 homes that are seen as the highest risk for lead exposure arrived “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The area was expecting the charge to get about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded in this round and after follow-up meetings the city intends to go on with work on 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids arrived in at least one half higher at $6,000 a house,” Langston said. “Copper may be the only material they’re allowing to spec now for service lines and ductile iron for distribution lines. Not simply is copper pipe for service lines 4 times the price of polyethylene pipe, nevertheless, you have very extreme ways to get that copper pipe in the earth and that’s cut and bury, which entails digging up yards and streets.”
One or more Michigan lawmaker has publicly questioned why Flint doesn’t accept the “generous offer” from JM Eagle.
Nationwide, it would cost $1 trillion within the next twenty five years to mend existing drinking water systems that are reaching the ends of their useful lives and to serve growing populations, according to the American Water Works Association.
The exact makeup of the buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning to the 1870s, the rollout of various pipe materials has changed from cast iron, to cement-lined cast iron to asbestos cement then within the 1950s-60s ductile iron, PVC and PE.
Globally, the plastic pipe market is forecast to increase with a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, in accordance with a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a consumer research firm operating out of Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in Canada And America enjoyed a sales price of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, based on Acute Market Reports. In addition to water, HDPE pipes carry wastewater, slurries, chemicals, hazardous waste and compressed gases.
Other PE pipe potable players include Performance Pipe of Plano, Texas; Dura-Line Corp. of Knoxville, Tenn.; and Pipeline Plastics LLC of Westlake, Texas. The companies rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE is definitely the No. 1 pipe materials used in water systems in Europe, it can be still making inroads in the United States. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpky02 municipal market for both water and sewer applications. PVC has many of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 percent nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re 50 percent because HDPE pipe will be the only material that is certainly earthquake and ground-movement resistant,” Langston said. “A study by Cornell University performed on 16-inch pipe showed you can have 4 feet of lateral shift and also the pipelines won’t yield. It stays intact.”
Freeze-thaw cycles in northern states like Michigan and drought conditions in Texas also result in the ground to move, making PE pipe a great choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your location in the nation, you’re likely to have ground movement,” he added. “When you appear at pipe failures, the main reason for this is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But if you have a fused, welded system, including polyethylene, the pipe just moves using the ground. You can find no problems.”
Florida can be another big industry for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a substitute material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can seem similar to a slog. There are mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that want to acquire in to the change to PE.
“We are constantly going throughout the country discussing PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is exceedingly amazing but the change process is slow.”