Plastic pipes are essential for water infrastructure projects in building and construction. Plastic piping, whether it is High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) or any of the other types of plastics, make our lives easier, our plumbing more secure, and our sewers non-corrosive.
The technology behind plastic piping materials is a story intertwined with that of the American Manufacturing Renaissance in the United States. This story was illustrated to Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA-02) when he visited Performance Pipe, a Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, in Bloomfield, IA in #ACCaugust.
Rep. Loebsack was able to experience how HDPE pipes are created from pellets firsthand in Bloomfield, while also meeting the workers that make it possible. These high performance plastics pipes are durable, energy efficient, and more cost effective than most alternative materials for water infrastructure projects.
The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave America’s water infrastructure a grade of “D” in their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. Our nation’s infrastructure is in desperate need of modernization and updating, but this comes at a high price. ASCE also estimated that an additional $2 Trillion of infrastructure investment will be needed over the next ten years. Currently some municipalities limit the number of materials that can compete in the bidding process for these projects, and this closed competition drives up costs of water infrastructure projects.
By opening up competition and allowing all appropriate materials to be considered, including the durable, affordable, and non-corrosive plastic pipes and fittings made by Performance Pipe and others, we can lower costs of water infrastructure projects, regardless of which material is ultimately chosen.
Rep. Loebsack was amazed at the process of taking tiny plastic pellets and transforming them into piping materials used to deliver water to communities, and it’s easy to see why. Clean, affordable water is essential to life, and chemistry is essential to updating our nation’s aging water infrastructure.