WHY CLAY PIPE?
In any environmentally conscious community, public well-being and economic growth depend, to a large measure, on the proper installation of a reliable sanitary sewer system. The complexity of modern sewer design and construction represents a challenge to professional engineers and concerned citizens alike. This general guide to a trouble-free sewer system is intended to provide insight into the economics of sound sanitary planning and investment.
On the surface, a less expensive substitute pipe material might appear to be the better buy. But once underground, it could be more costly should the pipe fail prematurely and require replacement.
It is important to note that the cost of digging or re-digging a trench for average installations is many times the price of the pipe. Substitute pipe materials fail for lack of sufficient structural integrity, abrasion resistance and the ability to perform under constant corrosive attack. In comparison, many Vitrified Clay Pipe lines installed over one-hundred-fifty years ago are still performing as efficiently as the day they were first installed.
Any price difference between clay pipe and other kinds of sewer pipe is, in fact, insignificant when considering the overall project. Community health, public well being and future budgetary restraints make the choice of pipe material critical.
Another very important aspect to consider is the Federal EPA cost-effective procedures assigning a 50-year minimum useful life standard for sanitary sewer pipe. The cost effectiveness of clay pipe for EPA funding can be based on documented IOO-year minimum life. I Also note that the Army Corp of Engineers' life expectancy rating assigned to clay pipe in the US Army Corp Life Cycle Analysis is higher than any other sewer pipe material. 2 Before you choose the pipe material, compare the products' guarantee of longevity.
Corrosion resistance is one of the most important factors in the selection of sanitary sewer pipe since corrosion is one of the principal causes of pipe failure. Hydrogen sulfide, often accompanied by a "rotten egg" odor, is generated in sanitary sewers. Through a series of chemical reactions, hydrogen sulfide gas is converted to sulfuric acid, one of the most corrosive of all acids.
Pipe materials vary in their degree of resistance to the destructive action of sulfuric acid. Cementbonded piping materials and metal piping material deteriorate quickly when exposed to sulfuric acid. Sanitary sewer pipe may also be subject to corrosion from acidic or alkaline soils, electrolytic decomposition and temperature induced damage. Even with extra thickness or protective coatings, their ultimate failure is, in most cases, merely postponed. Sanitary sewers are also subjected to the discharge of industrial wastes and solvents. These fluids, including common household products, can attack both cement-bonded pipe and flexible plastic pipe, causing deterioration of the former and crack- ing or softening of the latter. Vitrified Clay Pipe is the only sewer pipe material proven over centuries of use to be resistant to attack by sulfide-generated acid, most industrial wastes and solvents or aggressive soils. The entire wall of clay pipe is chemically inert-providing built-in protection against any disintegration or loss of strength. It does not require any lining or protective coating
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