Tuberculation is a form of internal corrosion and bio-film contamination which develops in iron pipes and restricts water flow. It can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
The town of Walkerton, Ontario provides a case in point. In 2000, E-coli had infiltrated the municipality’s iron-pipe water network, and purging it from the system was extremely difficult. Only after repeated and costly flushing with super-chlorination was the piping system safe to use again.
Unlike iron pipe, PVC pipe is not affected by tuberculation. Its smooth, non-corrosive surface stays clean even after decades. An ISO Standard 14025 Environmental Product Declaration conducted for PVC water and sewer pipe, certified by global health organization NSF International, confirms the safety of PVC water pipe: “No known chemicals are released into the water system. No known toxicity effects occur in the use of the product.”
Today, Walkerton, now part of the Municipality of Brockton, is replacing its iron pipes with PVC. In fact, it’s the only material the community now uses in its water system. Says Colin Saunders, Brockton’s utilities manager, “With PVC pipe, I don’t have concerns about corrosion, tuberculation or water main breaks, and this means lower maintenance costs and a longer lasting piping network.”