Sewage systems consist of a multitude of components and equipment—small pipes, major water mains, backflow preventers, valves, and more! When it comes to water mains and piping, certain materials are safer and more durable than others. Read on to learn more about the best and worst materials for public service lines.
The Best: Copper
Copper is undoubtedly the best material for public pipes and service lines. For one, copper is highly resistant to corrosion and won’t release harmful materials into water supplies. Additionally, this metal is naturally antimicrobial and helps control bacteria growth and the spread of waterborne illnesses. Furthermore, copper is lightweight, durable, and can last for upwards of 70 years. Lastly, most copper parts are 100 percent recyclable and extremely environmentally friendly.
The Worst: Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel is an outdated plumbing material that began fading around the 1960s. Unfortunately, many buildings and homes across the globe still feature galvanized steel pipes and water mains throughout their respective plumbing systems. Why is this metal so bad? Over time, the zinc coating (used to combat corrosion) erodes—consequently, these lines rapidly degrade. Cracks and calcium deposits appear, which are clear signs that indicate necessary repair services. However, galvanized steel parts rupture when neglected, causing thousands of dollars in damages and potential endangerment to the surrounding community.
The Absolute Worst: Lead
We all know the dangers of lead—overexposure to this material causes damage to the human brain and other essential organs. Mainly, lead poisoning stunts brain development in children and leads to anemia and overall weakness later in life. Unfortunately, there are still plumbing systems in America that consist of lead components—specifically, there are 6 to 10 million lead service lines. Lead plumbing systems are most common in Texas, New York, and a few states throughout the Midwest. If you live in these regions, it’s important to determine if your public service lines contain lead.
When it comes to the best and worst materials for public service lines, copper is the most superior. Conversely, galvanized steel and lead pipes are outdated and potentially harmful to your health and well-being. Consult with a professional plumbing business before making any alterations to your residential, industrial, or public plumbing system.