Plastic Pipe Facts™

Las Vegas, NV; HDPE Service Line Failures:

Las Vegas Valley Water District (LVVWD) delivers water to over 1 million people in the Las Vegas Valley.  Beginning in the early 1970's LVVWD began using polyethylene (HDPE) service laterals to deliver water from the mains to homes.  In 1980, large numbers of HDPE service lines began to fail.  Of the 80,000 HDPE service lines originally installed, about 56,000 are still in service, but the District is experiencing about 1500 failures per year.1 One of the key causes of the failures as determined by LVVWD is oxidation of the HDPE service line which leads to brittle failure and cracking.2

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  1. “Forecasting Pipe Replacements Using Weibull Analysis”, Scott, Charles, Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals, 15th Annual Conference, Louisville, KY, 2007.
  2. “Forensic Analysis of Oxidation Embrittlement in Failed HDPE Potable Water Pipes”, Duvall, D.E., Edwards, D.B. American Society of Civil Engineers, Pipelines proceedings 2010