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Readers of the New York Times may have noticed an article in Friday’s business section concerning leaking, cracking and exploding water pipes in water districts across the country. These problems have been caused, allegedly, by defective PVC pipes manufactured by JM Eagle, a California-based pipe manufacturer.
Even were the allegations to be proven – the matter is pending before a federal court in Washington, D.C. – Evanston residents should not worry, according to City officials. “We have very little plastic [PVC] pipe in our entire system” which includes water distribution and sewer main, said Dave Stonebeck, the City’s Superintendent of Water and Sewers. Until the recently completed sewer relief system, there were no PVC pipes in the system. The new project included primarily concrete, but a few sections used PVC, said Mr. Stonebeck.
The freeze/thaw cycle does not allow extensive use of plastic pipes, Mr. Stonebeck said. But certain areas, such as park areas, allowed the use of PVC piping.
Mr. Stonebeck says he does not believe any of the plastic pipes used were manufactured by JM. Eagle. “I am fairly certain that in the Chicagoland area we use pipe manufactured closer to home,” he said.
Mr. Stonebeck says he cannot be sure, however: 12,000 of the roughly 43,000 feet of plastic pipe were installed after 1996, the date the allegedly defective pipe began to be manufactured, and the producer of the pipe used in that 12,000 feet was not recorded. There have been no problems since 1996, though, Mr. Stonebeck says.