Which pipe material is the best for water supply networks in terms of quality of water supplied ?


Dear Colleagues,

I am Davis working on project and construction management, planning, monitoring, control and execution of various infrastructure projects in the Middle East. For my new water supply project I would appreciate to some inputs from you.

As we all know, different materials are used for water supply networks such as DI( ductile iron), HDPE, UPVC, GRP, GI (galvanized iron), Copper  etc . I would like to know your opinion about which material  is the best for maintaining the quality of water supplied to the public, irrespective of the cost. What are the reasons behind it? I I'm interested in knowing some recent trends in using these materials, some case study will also be nice to discuss if some one has it.

Many thanks,

Davis Augusthy

Project Manager

Muscat, Oman






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Lubos Jurik
It is so easy. Glas. Food industry is used this material and in some towns iń Slovakia is used also for water supply.
Gilbert Ricafrente
Ductile Iron (based on cost + availability + installation)
Thanks all you for the comments
Dear Mr.: it depends on the quality of water to be used in pipeline.
Rolland Andrade
HDPE are widely used in India. The climate and weather conditions are basically arid to semi-arid in nature. And transporting water (Drinking water) to remote areas are usually accomplished by HDPE only. Primarily may be because of its cost effectiveness, durability and ease of transport / handle.
As rightly suggested by Maher Chebib, it also depends on were to use, type of client and total investment allocated.
Thanks a lot for all your comments
Muftah Elarbash
HDPE and JRP are made of inert materials. They are light, flexible and durable. Best suited for potable water
Muftah Elarbash
HDPE and JRP are made of inert materials. Ther are light, flexible and durable. Best suited for potable water
abdul jamil
Depending on the size of th pipeline ,quality of water transmitted and the quality of trench material ,steel pipe with cement lining is recommended.Hdpe pipe is also to be the option.abdul jamil Water ,sanitation engineer.
Dear All,

I gone through all your comments and hope we can conclude like this. If cost doesn't matter the best material is 316L SS. Considering the economical aspects and easiness in handling HDPE is the best upto 500mm dia and DI for higher diameters. Any objection to this. DI, HDPE and UPVC pipes are in common here in Oman.

Thanks for your valuable suggestions and comments.


Alireza asadi
dear Mr Davis
I work in Iran
i think it depend on quality of material and cost price analysis for example in Iran project s UPVC and HDPE are more cheap than ductile pipe in diameter between 100 up to 350 mm but for diameter above 400 mm to 1000mm ductile iron have prefer
Zheng YANG
Metal pipe is much available in that area. because plastic pipes can`t afford the temperature of middle east. But galvanized iron pipe is toxic for human beings, ductile pipe isn`t so convenient for installation. So SS 316L is the best choice for domestic water.
Engr. Olufemi AYILARA
HDPE is the best for now if you can afford it. Ductile iron is good also but ensure joints are thrust adequately. Stay away from galvanized iron is highly corrosive, I would recommend PVC as normal practice.
Alieh Sabetraftar
HDPE pipes
Ductile Iron Pipe is by far the best material! You can build homogenous pipeline from DN 60 mm to DN 2000 mm even more. The normal products have a wide range of application in from low to high pressure. With special external coating and special internal lining you can cover all types of practical situations. The range of fittings and valves is very large and comprehensive. The locking systems are efficient and allow to avoid concrete blocks.
Many international standards such ISO 2531 or european standards EN 545 garantee the quality of the products.
see : www.pamline.com and www.dipra.org

Kamran Bukhsh Soomro
HDPE pipe is the good solution which is also low cost.
John Cook
Dear Davis,

I spent well over 20 years either as COO or CEO at a large water system in the US. Stay away from galvanized iron. Zinc is notoriously corrosive. Ductile Iron is OK, but ensure joints have adequate thrust restraint and I would recommend polyethylene lining as normal practice. HDPE is great if one can afford it. Thick walled can also be used for directional drill carrier pipe.
Tim Cuthbert
As I have been involved in installing many many water systems, by far the best option is 316L stainless steel. Although it is expensive it can eadily be sterilised without any problems. It is used extensively in the food industry as standard. www.tcengineeringservices.co.uk
Peter Styles
The general consensus is to use plastics for their available range of diameters. MDPE has been used extensively in the UK but most countries prefer HDPE. Be very careful with uPVC as the lower classes can break due to negative pressures under surge conditions. Ductile iron is a great material fro larger diameters. I, personally, would never recommend steel as it pinholes when it fails and it is difficult to find the leaks.
David Hesketh
Take a look at this website www.coretechsED.co.uk/safe-drinking-water.html.
It's slightly off subject but we are a UK manufacturer who, we believe, have a device that can make a big difference in helping bring sterile, safe drinking water and irrigation to remote and impoverished urban communities. Any advice on taking this to market in the Middle East would be very gratefully received. Thanks for your attention
Luis Gonzales Vigil
HDPE for sure, better and healthy potable water for human consumption
Patrick Albert Grimaud
Hi Davis. Have a look at http://www.wecf.eu/download/2012/wsp/WSP_Module_6_Pipes.pdf
Best Patrick
Satendra Pal Singh
galvanized iron pipe is the best option for water supply. it has more strength and cost effictive also.
Milos Popovic
These are definitely HDPE pipes! The price is affordable, easy storage and installation, long life, simple repairs, etc.

Tunc Sayin
alin anchidin
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