The Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association (PVCPA) recently published the first North American industry-wide environmental product declaration (EPD) for water and sewer piping.
The document has been verified by NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International. The EPD, developed in compliance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025), benchmarks the impacts of seven PVC pipe products across their life cycles.
Impacts covered include PVC pressure pipe for potable water, reclaimed water and sewer force main systems, as well as PVC non-pressure pipe for storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems.
The EPD pinpoints areas of greatest environmental impact as well as the environmental benefits of utilizing PVC piping. For example, the use phase of pressurized potable water pipe, during which pumps overcome friction to move water through pipe, was found to contribute the greatest environmental impacts throughout the product’s entire life cycle. The EPD also identified advantages in this stage such as the smooth interior surface of PVC pipe that minimizes friction and therefore energy consumption. PVC pipe is also corrosion resistant and has a proven durability in excess of 100 years, requiring less frequent replacement.