We won’t pretend to understand everything in the article we just read ( Chemical degradation of polyethylene pipes due to water-based disinfectants )… because we certainly did NOT understand a a good deal of the mathematics used in the various examples given.
We did, however, take away a few valuable points we believe worthy of mentioning on our site:
- Many folks believed polyethylene piping would stand up to the rigors of continuous exposure to low levels of water-based disinfectants (i.e. chlorine, chloramines, peroxides, etc.) but now scientists realize that improperly balanced water quality parameters such as pH, alkalinity, hardness, etc. can aid in allowing those water-based disinfectants to prematurely degrade piping in our homes, offices, schools and pretty much anywhere it exists.
- Scientists and health officials really don’t know EVERYthing about the disinfectants commonly used to treat our water supplies but they (and we) firmly believe that NOT having them in our water supplies certainly cause a lot more problems than having them in our water could ever cause.
Need an example? Just look at Haiti or any other Third World area that lacks properly sanitized drinking water. Waterborne diseases whose causes (bacteria, pathogens, etc.) would ordinarily get wiped out by the low levels of things like chlorine and chlorine dioxide spread like wildfires and kill thousands of people in no time. Have you already forgotten the cholera epidemic that happened, we believe, less than a year ago?
So… if we can’t use polyethylene for this reason, PVC because of the additives it can leach into water, metal because it costs too much can also leach unwanted contaminants into drinking water, what CAN or SHOULD we use?
Unfortunately no one seems to have an answer to that question just yet so we will all have to wait until science solves that mystery. In the meantime, Water Testing Blog will continue testing its water regularly using the tools available at the time to make sure the contaminants we do know about don’t sneak into our water supply somehow.