22 February 2010 20:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--North American municipal water infrastructures will face a “perfect storm” of system failures in coming years, and polyethylene (PE) pipe manufacturers must fight to improve awareness if their products are to be more widely adopted as part of the solution, an industry spokesperson said on Monday.
“There is a high level of ignorance in the municipal markets regarding PE pipe,” said Tony Radoszewski, executive director of the Plastics Pipe Institute, speaking at the International Polyolefins Conference 2010 in ?xml:namespace>
While PE pipe was making headway in every end-market, Radoszewski said the biggest competitive threat is inertia. That is, municipal engineers who are accustomed to using concrete or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe continue to do so out of familiarity.
PVC dominates the North American potable water pipe market at 66%, and has an even tighter grip on new installations at 92%, he said.
Concrete pipe holds a commanding lead in storm water applications, and the concrete industry is maintaining a firm grip with strong relationships at the municipal level and a vigorous marketing campaign mounted by concrete trade groups.
Citing recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, Radoszewski said the price tag to replace
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