Diamond Plastics Corp. officials said just try it and you will see. You might actually like PVC.
But the city of Grand Island said nay, nay.
Diamond Plastics, based in Grand Island, Neb., wanted its headquarters city to use PVC pipe for water line extensions to two housing subdivisions.
Industrial soil contamination in the area has been a hot topic for several weeks, so Diamond wanted to provide pipe free of charge to help provide safe drinking water to residents with private wells that may be contaminated.
Diamond offered to supply the pipe for water line extensions to more than 50 homes. The company, which has been located in the southeastern Nebraska town since 1982, did not care how much pipe was required.
``We weren't motivated by how much or how little it would have been,'' said Dennis Bauer, Diamond's vice president of sales and marketing. ``We'd just like them to start using PVC pipe in this community.''
But the city of Grand Island won't accept the free PVC pipe, instead opting to pay for 6-inch ductile iron pipe. The city never has used PVC pipe and does not plan on starting, officials said.
``The area is known to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds,'' said Gary Mader, city utilities director. ``We are aware that the plastic pipe can be susceptible.''
Mader said he knows of other cities where permeation has been a problem, though he did not name those cities. But Bauer and other industry officials know that PVC pipe is used throughout the state. Lincoln, Neb., just east of Grand Island, has about 105 miles of PVC pipe in the ground and it has been there for years, company officials said.
``If they were going to experience this problem in this city, they would have already experienced it,'' Bauer said in an Oct. 30 telephone interview.
``If the levels were as high as they claim they are, it would have happened already. The rural water market in Nebraska is PVC pipe. We irrigate our crops with PVC pipe.''
Now, Diamond is writing back to the city in hopes of offering technical knowledge that will prove that PVC pipe would be A-OK.
``Gaskets are much more susceptible'' than PVC pipe, Bauer said, noting that the same gaskets are used with ductile iron or PVC pipe installation. In fact, he said, the permeation standards for ductile iron and PVC are the same under the American Water Works Association.
``What we'll be talking about is the fact that if the reason for not using PVC is permeation, then they need to understand that the product they're currently using has the same issues, certainly from a joint standard.''