After a nearly three-year fight, BFGoodrich Co. has dropped its lawsuit challenging an Illinois village's ban on chlorinated PVC pipe.
The lawsuit against Lake in the Hills, Ill., concerned a village ordinance passed in April 1996.
The village was let off the hook Feb. 26 after a U.S. District judge in Rockford, Ill., refused to allow a jury trial on the matter, saying he would render a decision based on lawyers' arguments.
Richfield, Ohio-based BFG decided it was not worth the effort or money to continue the fight, Dale Stroud, business director for plumbing products, said in a recent telephone interview.
Goodrich is a major supplier of raw materials used to make the pipes.
The crusade to stop CPVC pipe from being installed began in 1996 when Lake in the Hills building commissioner David Sellek investigated the work of local plumbers.
Sellek, a licensed plumber, said he had witnessed problems with CPVC pipe.
Sellek said plastic pipe expands and contracts more than copper pipe, and he feared the plastic pipe could burst, freeze or melt.
A local contractor tested an all-CPVC system in a new, area home in 1991.
When the contractor picked up a pipe during a cold, winter day, he dropped it on the floor and it shattered, Sellek recalled.
``I knew what plastic pipe was like. The more I researched, the more I found was not good about it,'' Sellek said.
When Sellek saw that local plumbers were not following installation guidelines, he feared more problems, so Sellek went to the village council and it approved a ban.
Illinois and 46 other states permit the use of CPVC pipes.