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CPVC’s Microbial Resistance Ensures Safe Drinking Water

Water is essential to life, and a safe drinking water supply means better health and hygiene conditions. The materials used in plumbing systems play a critical role in ensuring the safety of drinking water. Water presents an ideal environment for bacterial microbe development. 

As microbes grow, they attach to the wetted and rough surfaces in the water distribution system and protect themselves by forming microbial biofilms. Harmless bacteria occur naturally in the water. 

Most bacteria are completely safe but some bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella are harmful and make the water contaminated.

What is a CPVC Pipe?

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) is a thermoplastic polymer made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin, to which chlorine is added via a free radical chlorination reaction. CPVC pipe has emerged as a top choice due to its exceptional microbial resistance, which contributes significantly to maintaining water purity. This ensures the delivery of safe and clean drinking water to households and communities.

CPVC Piping System Characteristics That Prevent Biofilm Formation

Identifying and treating bacteria and biofilms is particularly difficult once a piping system is in place and operational, which is why it is essential to take steps to prevent bacteria and biofilm formation during piping system design. 

Designers and engineers should consider piping material alternatives based on the following factors:

1. Material Smoothness

Nutrients that bacteria feed on can accumulate on the hard and rough surfaces of the piping systems. Defects in the piping system such as connection points, welds and fittings can also contribute to bacterial contamination. The microorganisms in biofilm have to be able to attach to something in order to grow.

Piping systems with smooth inner surfaces, such as Prestige FlowGuard CPVC, don’t offer any attachment surfaces to bacteria. While on the other hand, metal pipes like stainless steel, brass and copper pipes, have rougher inner surfaces, which provide attachment to bacteria and hence promote biofilm formation.

The Hazen Williams C-Factor is used to determine friction head loss in piping systems, where a higher value indicates a smoother surface material. CPVC starts with a C-Factor of 150 upon installation, which usually remains constant over time. 

In contrast, steel piping typically begins with a C-Factor between 130 to 140, but this can diminish due to factors like corrosion and scaling as time progresses. The C-Factor of Polypropylene (PPR) pipes also is around 140 in the beginning, yet it can decrease over time due to various factors.

2. Corrosion Resistance

Metal pipes undergo the process of rusting and corrosion over time. Ordinary plastic pipes also get weakened by UV rays by prolonged sunlight exposure. Both these types of pipes are not suitable for industrial use because they are not chemically inert to many substances used in industries. 

While as an engineered thermoplastic, CPVC resists most acids, bases and salts to decrease the likelihood of corrosion when used with various chemicals. The Lubrizol’s CPVC Chemical Resistance Chart shows how it can tolerate many chemicals without undergoing corrosion. Hence, CPVC pipe does not corrode and maintains its smooth inner surface, preventing any attachment of bacteria there.

3. Chlorine and Salt Content

CPVC’s ability to resist biofilm formation is also attributed to its composition, consisting of  67 percent salt, which is an unfavourable environment for bacterial growth. Since Chlorine acts as a bactericidal agent, incorporating chlorine during the production of CPVC pipe creates an environment that is unfavourable for microorganisms, effectively stopping their growth and propagation within the piping system. 

This prevents microorganisms like bacteria and fungi from thriving inside the pipes, reducing the risk of contamination and ensuring the safety of the water being transported.

4. Plasticizers as Additives

The risk of microbial biofilm formation increases with plasticized piping materials because some microorganisms use plasticizers as a nutrient source. CPVC is not plasticized and hence does not pose a risk for biofilm formation. This makes CPVC an excellent choice for domestic as well as industrial use.

Benefits of Microbial Resistance in CPVC Pipes

1. Health Protection

By preventing microbial growth, CPVC helps safeguard against waterborne diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This protection is especially crucial in regions where water quality may be compromised due to inadequate sanitation or environmental factors.

2. Longevity of Plumbing Systems

CPVC’s resistance to microbial degradation extends the lifespan of plumbing infrastructure. Unlike metal pipes that can corrode over time, CPVC remains durable and maintains its structural integrity, reducing the likelihood of leaks or pipe failures.

3. Maintenance of Water Quality

The absence of biofilm accumulation in CPVC pipes ensures that water quality remains consistent from the source to the tap. This is essential for meeting regulatory standards and providing consumers with access to safe and potable drinking water. 

Applications of CPVC in Water Distribution

CPVC’s microbial resistance makes it well-suited for various water distribution applications, including:

  1. Potable Water Systems

CPVC pipe in Pakistan is commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings for conveying potable water. Their ability to maintain water quality makes them an ideal choice for ensuring the health and safety of occupants.

  1. Water Treatment Facilities

CPVC pipe is also used in water treatment plants for transporting treated water to distribution networks. Its resistance to chemical corrosion and microbial growth ensures the integrity of the water supply infrastructure.

  1. Food and Beverage Industries

Since food and beverage industries require high levels of hygiene and purity, CPVC piping systems are employed there to prevent any unwanted growth of microbial colonies inside the pipes which can contaminate the food or drinks being produced.

CPVC’s microbial resistance is a key attribute that ensures the delivery of safe and clean drinking water in plumbing systems. By inhibiting microbial growth and biofilm formation, CPVC pipes help protect public health, preserve water quality, and maintain the integrity of water distribution infrastructure. Major international agencies have validated FlowGuard CPVC for potable water applications, guaranteeing its suitability in maintaining water quality.

Prestige Plastics one of the best CPVC pipe manufacturers providing the great quality and CPVC pipe price in Pakistan. All different CPVC pipe dimensions and CPVC pipe fittings are supplied by us. Contact us now to get started with your CPVC plumbing project.

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