“If it always looks and performs like a PVC-U (pressure) pipe for at least a hundred years, it is sustainable.”  This is the message that Dutch engineer Henk Meerman recently delivered to the Polymers Market 2013 conference in Alushta, Ukraine on behalf of PVC4Pipes. Drawing upon evidence from technical studies in The Netherlands and other European countries, Meerman presented the latest conclusions that reaffirm the sustainability and low environmental impact of PVC-U pipe systems.               

“Our experience in the field of installation and performance of these pipes has always encouraged a belief that they display superior sustainable characteristics,” Meerman explained. “This sustainability and thus our conviction have now been absolutely verified by independent technical assessments.  Furthermore, our benchmarks comparing PVC-U pipe with the same functional unit for concrete sewer pipe are excellent.”

Confirmation that PVC-U pipes perform consistently over a very long lifetime was determined by excavating and testing in-service drainage and water pressure pipes in the Netherlands. Pipe samples from various installation periods (1959 – 2003) and diameters were thoroughly tested for the complete range of physical and performance criteria. Functional properties of all samples were completely intact from which a lifetime expectancy of at least 100 years was firmly deduced.

Meerman also pointed to independent studies carried out to obtain Environmental Product Declarations for PVC-U pipe systems. “This ‘cradle-to-grave’ analysis upon sewer and water pressure pipes involved meticulous Life Cycle Assessments that confirm their low environmental impact. Moreover, recycling old PVC pipe into new is now accepted within European standards and without any compromise on quality.”

“Ukraine is the second largest country next to Russia and has an active domestic and export market for PVC-U pipes,“ concludes Meerman. “This environmental evidence adds to the reputational appeal of these systems. Perhaps the “U” in PVC and Ukraine may not be as coincidental as it first appears!”

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