Even though our world is running out of natural resources, the demands of its population are insatiable. We want more; we want quicker; and we want it all now! And at the heart of modern society is the need for reliable and sustainable drinking water and energy together with fast and efficient telecommunication systems. Getting all that to mankind without upsetting the fragile environment is an achievement in itself.
And yet that is something that plastic pipe systems have been doing for the last fifty years. They may be underground and therefore out of sight but they have been playing a quiet, but nonetheless vital role in the delivery of all these services. Their role in transporting water, gas, electricity and more recently fibre optic communication, is profound.
For today, society and its ever-demanding consumers expect that their water, gas, electricity and telecommunication are constantly available at the turn of a tap or the click of a switch. This being the case, maintenance of supply is critical but so is the quality and continuity. Nothing less than 24/7 will do.
All these demands for increased reliability and cost efficiency have to be met by utility companies. Their solutions for delivery invariably depend on plastic pipe systems. And when it comes to installing their services, plastic pipes are increasingly the first choice for applications associated with:
- Drinking/Potable Water Distribution
- Water/Waste Water Disposal/Treatment
- Natural Gas Distribution
- Electrical Cable Conduits
- Fibre Optic Networks
- Cable TV
- Data & Telephone Communication
History & Durability
Plastics were invented more than 150 years ago and became a popular material for pipe systems during the 1950's. In the last 55 years, the use of plastic pipes has been extended to more and more applications. This as the many material and installation benefits offered by plastic pipe systems became increasingly known.
The first plastic pipe systems were made of PVC and were specifically introduced to replace corroding metal water pipes. They soon became a popular solution for drinking water distribution, sewer applications and cable protection. With the growth of urbanisation, their contribution to modern health, hygiene and well-being has been fundamental.
Even today, plastic pipe systems are proving their durability and toughness. Recent testing of plastic pipes in service has revealed that whilst 50 year life spans were considered the design norm, predictions now confidently estimate longevity of well over 100 years.
Health, Safety and the Environment are of extreme importance in the above areas of application. TEPPFA members are proactively engaged with normative developments in the market. Matters such as drinking water quality and EAS developments are followed very closely.
TEPPFA therefore strongly promotes conformity with relevant norms such as EN 1555 (gas), EN 12201, EN 1452 (drinking water), EN 13244 (pressurised sewage) and EN 50086 (cable ducting) etc. In addition to conforming to these norms, the organisation promotes the development of relevant Quality Marking on pipe system components.
PVC, PE and/or PP are materials of choice. And whereas all these materials have the proven application performance and experience, final material choice may revolve around various aspects. Typically these would include ease of installation, availability, compatibility with the existing network, etc.