roving wound onto a mandrel in a continuous process where cut glass, sand and polyester or epoxy are added to the product. O-Tek is one of 22 plants worldwide that produce potable water pipes using Flowtite. It was chosen for the project to help eliminate joints in the piping, which is where many water pipe leaks occur. AOC worked with Flowtite many years ago and had compatible resins that are corrosion resistant against wastewater treatment chemicals. Three different pipes were manufactured to manage internal pressure ranging from 145 to 464 pounds per square inch to move the rapid water from the river to the new plant. The 1.9 miles of piping are used for two independent tunnels, one as an interior liner spanning 643 feet (and is not impacted by interior or exterior soil pressure), the other 4,167 feet are used as aerial piping, which does take advantage of the internal pres- sure requirement ranges.

The benefits of composite pipes over competitive materials are inherent and include longer life, corrosion resistance, smoother pipe surface for the water to move faster, and lighter pipes for builders to install. “Really this project is a testimony to the benefits of composite potable water pipes in South American countries. Many cities in South America have aging or under developed water a huge rise in composite manufacturing, which will allow that development. Just take a look at the growing economical data from the composites industry in Brazil!”

The bigger picture

Sadly, water sanitation isn’t only a problem for South America. Many countries around the world don’t have easy access to potable water. According to UNICEF, over 2 billion people around the world don’t have access to clean water.

Fortunately, governments are starting to see the benefits of clean water more readily available. Soon Many countries will need to invest in new water infrastructure suggesting that there may be an even larger global application for using composite pipes and CIPP to help make access to clean water more readily available.

Looking closer to home, many U.S. water pipelines are reaching their 50 year limit. That’s 800,000 miles of water and 500,000 miles of sewer pipes that will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. “Opportunities for Fiber Reinforced Plastics (FRP) Pipe in 2010-2015,” a report by composite consultant Lucintel, predicts that the global market for FRP pipes will reach $563.1 million by 2015.