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Happy Friday!

For the longest time in my engineering career, I didn’t really know what HDPE pipe was. I heard about it from random salesmen pitching at lunch or about how some 96 inch Dallas Water Utility HDPE transmission line failed and they will never use HDPE again.

Recently, especially after designing and implementing HDPE pipe over 5 miles of the 4-inch distribution system at Arabian Acres and getting to watch various sizes be installed for an industrial run-off on BNSF sites in Wyoming, I have grown to see it as the superior product for small pipeline installation. For pipeline 12-inches and under HDPE seems like a no brainer to me. It beats out classic plastic pipes in the following areas: design life (100 years), ease of installation (most to all can be assembled outside of the trench), costs, and lack of joints (most everything can/is welded together). Typically HDPE has a 4 to 1 safety factor associated with it and the rated pressure it has which matches C900 and ductile iron pipes.

I recently called a client who had “hot” or corrosive soils and told me they were choosing ductile iron pipe over C900 for a waterline installation. I asked why not use HDPE pipe? They replied they has no idea what HDPE pipe was, which in my opinion is the perfect cost-effective solution to their problem. In my opinion, it seems there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of what HDPE pipe is.

What do you think about HDPE pipe? Am I missing something here? I would love to hear others opinion.