Unplasticised PVC (PVC-U) and molecularly oriented PVC (PVC-O) pipes and fittings are widely used for the distribution of water under pressure. The main application is the distribution of drinking water. The diameters are of medium size (generally between 75 mm and 250 mm). The main characteristic of these pipes is the long term resistance to pressure (assessed according to ISO 9080) which is expressed as the MRS (Minimum Required Stress, see also in FAQ).

The pipes for irrigation have similar geometrical and mechanical characteristics.

Safe for drinking water

PVC pipes are a safe choice for transportation of drinking water due to their high degree of inertness and resistance to corrosion. Third-party research documents that the microbial growth potential of PVC is much lower than alternatives.

The safety of PVC pipe systems for the transportation of drinking water in Europe is tightly regulated. Partly by the REACH regulation on chemical substances, partly by the European Drinking Water Directive and its related standards and national legislations, which only allow the use of positively listed substances.

PVC pipe manufacturers are subject to third-party certification by accredited laboratories and institutes, who subsequently also carry out regular audits to ensure continued compliance.

Further, because it is used below its glass transition temperature (80°C), PVC can be considered as a functional barrier preventing any low molecular weight substances to migrate to drinking water. Migration tests published in peer-reviewed journals have demonstrated migration levels far below the detection limit of the most modern analytical techniques.