Material advancements helping to pipe water safely and efficiently
Pipes and pipelines have been used to connect water supply and demand for thousands of years. Historic evidence shows that the earliest pipes were made of baked claw and straw, right through to the Egyptians making use of copper. As civilisations have evolved close to water sources, pipes have been essential to transport water to communities around the world. Even wooden pipes held together in place by iron bands were installed 200 years ago in the US city, Philadelphia. Water pipelines are out of sight and often out of mind, until there is a problem, especially with leakage. It’s estimated that on average, 30 per cent of water produced is lost through leakage in the distribution networks globally. Today, material advancements have enabled clean water to be transported quickly and efficiently by water utilities. Plastic, multilayer composite pipes including metal and plastic, and even double containment pipes are commonly used to transfer water safely and efficiently.