A Brief History of HDPE Pipe in U.S. Water Infrastructure

  • 1948: First high-density polyethylene pipe systems made available.
  • 1955: ASTM International establishes the Plastic Pipe Committee
  • 1978: American Water Works Association (AWWA) approves HDPE pipe for water tubes up to 75 mm (3 in.) in diameter.
  • 1990: AWWA developed first edition of AWWA standard for HDPE water pipes ranging in diameter between 100 and 1575 mm (4 and 63 in.).
  • 1992: Indianapolis Water Co. (now U.S. Filter) adopts the technology, making Indianapolis, Indiana, one of the first municipalities in the United States to install water mains using HDPE pipe.
  • 2005: Expected release date for AWWA M 55, Manual for the Design and Installation of Polyethylene Pipe in Water Applications

For more information on specifying and using HDPE pipe systems, visit the Plastic Pipe Institute (PPI) Web site at www.plasticpipe.org, and select ‘Applications,’ followed by ‘Water.’