Vitrified clay pipes remain particularly eco-friendly, being made of the same natural raw materials as ever: clay, water and grog (material recycled from ceramic production). In our part of the world, clay resources are almost unlimited (just like water); processing comprises a low-emission operation which takes place near the deposits using relatively little energy (primarily natural gas).

SUSTAINABILITY – THE RESPONSIBILITY

THREE PILLARS OF THE FUTURE

Tried and tested natural product

As regards the life cycle of vitrified clay pipes, one of the main characteristics has always been the responsible use of natural resources – from mining, through production and installation to recycling after over 100 years. Vitrified clay pipes epitomise durability in infrastructure: the resultant sewage systems last for generations, with a service life far superior to that of other materials – their advantages are technical, economic and ecological.

The lasting solution

Sewage systems have to be operated for a long time and low maintenance is a pre-requisite as repair and rehabilitation works are not only expensive but also damaging to the environment and disruptive to residents, shops and traffic. On the other hand, reinvestment costs have to be kept as low as possible. The use of vitrified clay pipes provides an ideal solution, allowing the decision-maker to invest in a reliable, future-compliant sewage system: an economic product which is more durable than other materials. Vitrified clay pipes are the perfect choice and present the best arguments: sustainable and future-compliant investments are well received; the public appreciates cost-effective sewage disposal; favourable PR can only follow.

Thinking ahead, paying less

In choosing material for a pipeline, too often only initial investment costs are considered – a fundamental mistake. Economic feasibility studies simply aren’t practicable without including factors like life span, material quality, maintenance cost and energy consumption during operation, reinvestment costs and ecological impact. If all these factors are taken into account, the conclusion is quickly reached that vitrified clay pipes are the most economic solution because of their low cost per year of operation.

Depreciation is worthwhile – especially with vitrified clay pipes

Vitrified clay pipes have a significantly longer depreciation period than other materials, which increases the financial flexibility of the sewage system operator, who can move on and progress other important projects. Even after the depreciation period has ended, there is high residual worth in the system- a further source of satisfaction at a job well done.

Follow-up costs make a difference

Typically, only around 5-10% of a project’s costs are attributable to the pipe, with pipe costs being outweighed by other costs such as:

 

  • planning costs
  • installation costs
  • maintenance costs

 

Choosing a shorter-life material may result in other expenses which have not been considered in advance. A sewage system made of vitrified clay pipes remains the most economic investment in the future.

Meeting criteria of sustainability

Pipes and fittings made of vitrified clay meet the fundamental requirements of sewage systems – they are economic, ecological and sustainable:

 

Economic: cost efficient fixed assets with long life span and low maintenance requirement

Ecological: resisting all substances occurring in waste water and soil, preventing pollutants in waste water from penetrating the soil, non-corrosive, hard, highly dense and durable, non-ageing, almost fully recyclable

Sustainable: operating period over 100 years; can be exchanged after many decades of use