The global initiative to control waste and pollution has pushed more countries to rethink water treatment, recycling and infrastructure components. This is especially the case in Peru, which is home to 56 percent of the rainforests on earth and at one time the largest silver pro- ducer in the world.

According to the Clean Water Partnership for Arequipa, Peru, the discussion in local government to help improve the water quality of the Rio Chili began in 2006. At the time the Peruvian government inter- vened an astounding 75 percent of Arequipa citizens, the second largest population in Peru, didn’t have ac- cess to clean water. By 2011, the city of Arequipa had installed miles of composite piping to help bring clean water to approximately 30 percent of the population.

Peru and other South American countries started investing in water sanitation infrastructure during the mid-2000s after receiving financial support to improve local water from the global community. These donat- ing countries are interested in pro- tecting the Earth’s largest rainforest through improved water infrastruc- ture. According to the Global Water Partnership (GWP), an organization dedicated to protecting the world’s water resources, approximately 28 percent of the freshwater in the world is located in South America. GWP predicts that by 2050, 30-60 percent of the rainforest in Brazil could be irreversibly replaced by a dry savannah.


To prevent this natural catastrophe and further global warming, coun- tries like Spain—which spent $1.5 billion in 2009 to support clean water developments in Latin America are funding projects to protect the world’s shrinking natural resource. In order to implement new infra- structure quickly and effectively, many South American countries are turning to composite solutions, and specifically composite piping. For ex- ample, the Peru Minister of Housing, Construction, Water and Sanitation, Juan Sarmiento, enacted the Water For All or (Agua Para Todos) program that supported a composite pipe project in Arequipa.

Water treatment plant for Arequipa

In 2010, U.S. resin supplier AOC supplied South American compos- ite manufacturing company O-Tek Internacional in Medellin, Colombia with Vipel unsaturated polyester resin to produce 1.9 miles of Flow- tite fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) pipes. Since AOC is familiar with the Flowtite manufacturing process and supplies a resin similar to the one O-Tek regularly uses to manufacture composite piping, O-Tek ordered a small quantity of resin to help com- plete the water treatment project. The pipes are manufactured by O-Tek using a Flowtite trademarked manufacturing process (developed in 1977 by Flowtite Technology AS in Sandefjord, Norway), which is filament wound process using glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP)