Taxpayers & Underground Infrastructure: Round 2

Earlier this year NTU published an Issue Brief which explored taxpayer-friendly options for replacement of America’s water and sewer systems, and concluded that PVC pipe was a viable (and often preferable) material for the task. We had hoped that a lively discussion would ensue over a fiscal policy matter that often receives short shrift.

Our hopes have been answered, in the form of a reply to our original Issue Brief from the Ductile Iron Pipe Association (DIPRA) as well as a response to DIPRA’s reply!


Here’s a sample from the exchange of views:

  "If PVC pipe cannot compete with ductile iron pipe in the marketplace without legislative help, it is because ductile iron pipe is a better product. We want  our taxpayer funds to be spent wisely so that the most effective management of our  infrastructures is possible. This is done by taking the long view in the marketplace and allowing utilities to make the decisions they know are best for their customers.


We have already seen, every day, that legislation often costs taxpayers more than it saves. Invariably, central control of local issues means waste. ..."

 Gregg Horn, President of DIPRA


And the following:

"... 1) [W]e aren’t asking for more legislative overreach, only for more open competition; 2) [He] can’t deny that corrosion is a cancer eating away at U.S. underground infrastructure; 3) [N]or can he downplay PVC pipe’s durability, sustainability and cost efficiency. ...


Responsible management of public funds demands that PVC pipe be included in the bidding process in every U.S. municipality. Taxpayers deserve nothing less!"

 Bruce Hollands, Executive Director, Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association


Which opinion should carry the day? We leave that up to you, dear readers, but we would all do well to remember that every time we turn a faucet handle or look down a manhole cover, serious money is at stake as well as clean water.