Did you know there are 1.6 million miles of water lines and sewer pipes in the United States? Did you also know cast iron pipes in at least 600 towns and counties are more than a century old? A New York Times article earlier this month gave these and many more details about the state of America’s underground plumbing. The article mainly focused on the war between the iron and plastic industries to win contracts from city and town councils, state capitals, and more to replace their underground plumbing in the upcoming decade. According to the Times, “Traditional materials like iron or steel currently make up almost two-thirds of existing municipal water pipe infrastructure. But over the next decade, as much as 80 percent of new municipal investment in water pipes could be spent on plastic pipes, Bluefield (Research) predicts.” The push for plastic pipes has grown increasingly since the flooding in Flint, MI that caused as many as 8,000 children to be exposed to unsafe levels of lead in the aftermath. Corroding iron pipes in Flint have also been linked to two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. The nearby town of Burton, MI chose to use plastic to replace their service lines, which has saved the city of 29,000 residents at least $2.2 million. However, many argue that plastic service lines are unproven and could be putting chemicals into the drinking water. Though the cost is considerably more expensive than plastic, the City of Flint chose to replace service lines with copper. This has proven to be a very reliable material for water lines and is what we at APEX use in our water line replacements and installations. Though steel might galvanize and plastic might put chemicals into the water, copper has been a consistently durable and beneficial material. Its benefits include natural anti-microbial properties that help kill harmful bacteria and pathogens, conductivity that heats up well and keeps water warm, and a lightweight and malleable yet strong substance for plumbers to more easily work with.
APEX Plumbing knows all about the proper pipes to use when it comes to your home. We have over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of pipe and are highly experienced in replacing lead, iron, and galvanized steel water lines with copper. If you are one of several in the Denver area with a lead water line or if you are experiencing issues with your underground pipes, give us a call today for your free estimate!