Over the past forty years or more, the natural gas distribution industry in the U.S. has made a remarkable transformation from a near-exclusive metallic distribution piping network to a near-exclusive thermoplastic piping distribution network, primarily driven by the development, implementation and constant upgrading of one standard: ASTM D-2513, “Thermoplastic Gas Pressure Pipe, Tubing and Fittings”. This transformation from metal to plastic has saved U.S. natural gas utilities in excess of $10 billion in installation and maintenance costs over this period of time.
This paper provides an overview of the condition of the nation's water infrastructure and the need to replace piping systems with materials that do not leak. This report discusses conservation at the root of the problem, detailing percentages of water lost in piping systems due to main line breaks, corrosion and joint leakage. Also discussed is cost analysis of lost revenue due to leakage, leak detection, leak repair and future estimated repair expenditures.