PVCPA publishes first environmental product declaration for water, sewer pipes

May 19, 2015
The Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association has officially published the first North American industry-wide environmental product declaration for water and sewer piping, which has been verified by NSF Sustainability.

ANN ARBOR, MI, May 19, 2015 -- The Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association (PVCPA), the authoritative source of information on PVC pipe, has officially published the first North American industry-wide environmental product declaration (EPD) for water and sewer piping, which has been verified by NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International.

The EPD was developed in compliance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) and benchmarks the impacts of seven PVC pipe products across their lifecycles. This includes PVC pressure pipe for potable water, reclaimed water and sewer force main systems, and PVC non-pressure pipe for storm sewer and sanitary sewer systems. NSF Sustainability reviewed and verified the lifecycle assessment and EPD documents to ensure that no unsubstantiated claims were made and that the EPD followed all applicable rules.

NSF International also maintains certification programs that provide independent confirmation on products meeting the requirements of American National Standards designed to ensure products are appropriate for these end uses. PVCPA members are certified to NSF/ANSI 14 for physical performance, health effects and quality requirements of pipe products and NSF/ANSI 61 for potable water contact products.

Both standards establish strict criteria for products to be considered safe for use. This third-party-verified, ISO 14025-compliant EPD was the next step in validating the safety and sustainability of PVC piping products. Further, with the completion of this EPD, PVCPA members have demonstrated their continued commitment to product safety and transparency.

EPDs are increasingly used across many industries by product manufacturers to provide transparent environmental data to customers. This EPD is based on an industry-wide lifecycle assessment (LCA) prepared by Sustainable Solutions Corporation that identifies the full lifecycle environmental impacts of PVC pipe. PVCPA members can use the LCA and EPD report as a baseline for continuous improvement, identifying opportunities throughout the product lifecycle for further environmental impact reductions.

This positions PVC pipe manufacturers as leaders in their industry and provides transparent environmental impact data to builders and municipalities for building and construction standards such as the Envision™ Sustainable Infrastructure certification (see "Rating System Helps Infrastructure Projects Meet Long-Term Sustainability Goals") and other green building and sustainability programs.

The EPD pinpoints areas of greatest environmental impact as well as the environmental benefits of utilizing PVC piping. For example, the use phase of pressurized potable water pipe, during which pumps overcome friction to move water through pipe, was found to contribute the greatest environmental impacts throughout the product's entire lifecycle. The EPD also identified advantages in this stage such as the smooth interior surface of PVC pipe that minimizes friction and energy consumption. PVC pipe is also corrosion-resistant and has a proven durability in excess of 100 years, requiring less frequent replacement.

See also:

"NSF Int'l, AWWA launch new sustainability standard for water treatment chemicals"

"NSF releases first American National Standard for Cryptosporidium removal from drinking water"

About NSF International

NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences, and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 155 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment. For more information, visit www.nsf.org.


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