AwwaRF Publishes Report on Hydrocarbon Impact

Jan. 17, 2008
Report examines impact of hydrocarbons on plastic pipes and gaskets

Awwa Research Foundation (AwwaRF), a nonprofit water research foundation dedicated to advancing the science of drinking water, recently announced the publication of a new report on the impact of hydrocarbons—compounds that occur naturally in petroleum and natural gas—on plastic pipes and gaskets used to distribute drinking water.

In urban areas, plastic pipes and gaskets used in water distribution systems may come into contact with hydrocarbons that have leaked from underground storage tanks or spills. The study examined how these hydrocarbons may affect the structural integrity of plastic pipes and gaskets, which, in turn, could impact the quality of the water in the distribution system. AwwaRF sponsors research, such as the study on which this report is based, to help water utilities manage their facilities and infrastructure more efficiently.

“With the help of information contained in this report, utilities can avoid the costs of unnecessary pipe maintenance and replacement,” said Robert C. Renner, executive director of AwwaRF. “The savings are passed on to consumers. The main goal of this project, as with all AwwaRF-sponsored research, is to give utilities knowledge they need to provide the public with safe and affordable drinking water.”

Information from the AwwaRF report will help utility managers better understand the performance of plastic pipes and gaskets in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils commonly encountered in urban settings. It will also help them take appropriate measures to mitigate potential impacts of hydrocarbons on their distribution systems.

The report, Impact of Hydrocarbons on PE/PVC Pipes and Pipe Gaskets, is currently available to subscribers of AwwaRF. The report will become available publicly later this year. More information about AwwaRF is available at

Source: AwwaRF