U.S. Mayor Saves 70% on Underground Infrastructure

Mayors across the country are getting the word from one of their own that PVC is saving her city money and providing a more reliable water infrastructure for its residents.

Printed in the March 2011 issue of U.S. Mayor, an article written by Pleasanton, Calif., Mayor Jennifer Hosterman explains the many ways in which her city has benefited by switching from ductile iron pipe to PVC. U.S. Mayor is the official publication of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“The results have been very impressive,” Mayor Hosterman writes in the article, titled, “Pleasanton’s underground infrastructure: Sustainability, cost-efficiency through better material procurement practices.” “Cost savings are confirmed by city staff.”

Pleasanton was named by Money magazine as one of the best places to live in America. According to the article in U.S. Mayor, it grew rapidly in the 1960s and ’70s, with asbestos cement meeting increased infrastructure demand, followed by ductile iron. However, the city soon learned that high alkaline in the soil and other factors accelerated corrosion induced failure of the buried metal infrastructure.

Measures to protect the iron pipe, including applying epoxy coatings, polyethylene sleeves and anodes connected to the pipe, “greatly increased initial material and replacement costs.”

The better solution, the article goes on to say, was to use PVC pipe. The city construction manager reported that PVC was about 70 percent less expensive than ductile iron, and carried lower installation costs. In addition, PVC pipe failures have been extremely rare, helping the city hold the line on operation and maintenance costs.

“Pleasanton’s demonstrated progress and outside recognition have come from being adaptive, flexible and open to better technologies such as PVC pipe and other infrastructure materials and ways of doing city business,” the article reads. “This is all part of good government and smart government.”

Read the Original Article from U.S. Mayor:


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