Is HDPE pipe safe for drinking water?

Yes. HDPE pipes certified for potable water applications.

 How does the use of HDPE pipe save money for a utility?

HDPE pipe provides the lowest life cycle cost than other systems due to significantly reduced or no leakage, water conservation, fewer new water-treatment plants, reduced maintenance crews, and no loss in flow capacity over the long term.

  Is HDPE pipe a green solution for piping?

Yes. It is safe when manufactured, used, or incinerated. It helps preserve water and electricity as there is no loss of water through the fused joint.

 What is the life expectancy of HDPE pipe in water applications?

Many installations of HDPE pipe in water applications are already reaching 50 years of successful service. The industry estimates a service life for HDPE pipe to conservatively be 50-100 years.

 Will HDPE pipe float in water?

Yes, HDPE pipe, due to slightly less density than water, will float even when full of water. For flotation of the line, various forms of collars, saddles, and strap-on flotation devices are available. For underwater anchored pipeline installations, screw-anchors are a practical alternative as per weight & space. Whenever possible, an underwater pipeline should be installed in a trench with protective crushed rock cover.

 What is the max-min temperature range across which HDPE pipe for water pressure applications may be used?

HDPE pipe’s operating range is from -40oF (-400C) to 140oF (60oC) & as high as 180oF (82oC). Since water freezes below 32oF (00C) the practical lower temperature limit for water is 32oF (0oC)/refer to the manufacturer.

 When using HDPE pipe, will the pipe deliver the same flow-rate as the modestly larger ID ductile-iron pipe with the same outside diameter?

The inside surface of HDPE pipe is devoid of any roughness, results in the lowest resistance to fluid flow. For water applications, HDPE pipe’s Hazen and Williams C factor for design is 150 and does not change over time. In contrast, the C factor for iron pipe and other traditional piping products declines dramatically over time due to corrosion and tuberculation or biological build-–up.

 Will the existing municipal warehouse inventory of ductile iron fittings go to waste if I switch to an all HDPE piping system?

No. With the use of HDPE mechanical joint adapters, polyethylene pipe and ductile iron fittings are completely compatible.

 When water freezes solid in an HDPE pipeline, will it damage the pipe? How is it most effectively thawed?

When water freezes solid in a HDPE pipe, it will not rupture it, but the pipe will expand with the ice. Obviously, the application of heat to the frozen section is really the only practical way to thaw it. But for safety considerations, and to avoid damage to the pipe, this must be done very carefully. One method is heat tracing. This involves wrapping the affected area with pressure sensitive metallic tape over which is wrapped temperature limited (120oF maximum) heat tracing tape. The metallic tape helps distribute heat evenly over the pipe surface. Heat blankets are also available, however torches or arc welders should not be used to thaw HDPE pipe.

 How long has HDPE pipe been used in water distribution and transmission applications?

HDPE has been used for these applications for over 50 years. The first American Water Works Association (AWWA) Standard for HDPE Pipe, C901 “Polyethylene (PE) Pressure Pipe and Tubing, ½ In. (13mm) through 3 In. (76mm) for Water service’, was adopted in 1978. The AWWA Standard for larger size HDPE pipe, C906, “Polyethylene (PE) Pressure Pipe and Fittings 4 In. (100mm) through 63 In. (1600mm) for Water Distribution and Transmission’ was adopted in 1990

 In what lengths is HDPE pipe available?

HDPE pipe is available either in coils, reels or straight lengths (joints). Coils are normally available for 2” and smaller diameter pipe. The coil may contain 1,000 or more feet of pipe. 3”, 4”, and 6” diameter can also be made in coils or reels (steel or wood frames), but straight lengths are also common for these sizes. In diameters 3” and larger, straight lengths are typically 40’ or 50’. Longer lengths, i.e. 53’’ may also be an option for larger diameter pipe on large projects where it is advantageous to minimize the number of fusion joints, and thus, reduce construction costs