Plastic Pipe Facts™

City of Anderson, Indiana – Flagship Force Main:

In 2010, the City of Anderson, IN commenced with the installation of 20,400 LF of 24" DR11 DIPS HDPE (Driscoplex PW4000 – Performance Pipe) in a force main project. Curiously, the pipe was marked: 24" DIPS – DR11 – Driscoplex PW4000 – PE3408 – 4710 ANSI AWWA C906 – PC106 – ASTM F 714 – 200 PSI – NSF/ANSI 61. Per the AWWA C906 standard in existence at the time, DR11 pipe should not have been marked for 200 psi use, but inspection appears to have missed this issue (Table 9, AWWA C906-07 lists the allowable pressure for DR11 as 160 psi).1

Electro-fusion couplings were used approximately every 400 feet over the length of the project. The first leak appeared on June 7th 2010 – with 19 couplings failing over the pipeline and an additional 8 were replaced, but not noted as failed. The fittings provider has blamed the contractor for improper surface preparation and at the time of a late 2010 Freedom of Information Act Request the City was contemplating an assessment of $193,000 in liquidated damages and a 6 year extended warranty.

IN1 IN2
Electro-fused pipe cut in half for inspection at a failed coupling.  Note the gap between the coupling and the pipe.

 

IN3 IN4
IN5 IN6
Damage as a result of leaks in HDPE water line in Anderson, Indiana (2010)

 

 

  1. Polyethylene (PE) Pressure Pipe and Fittings, 4 In. Through 63 In., for Water Distribution and Transmission”, AWWA  C906-07; American Water Works Association.