Council to plumbers: pipe down!

    Philadelphia City Council is considering a bill that would allow the use of PVC piping in all underground construction. Previous efforts to allow the plastic pipes, in place of cast iron, have met resistance from the Plumbers union.

    Philadelphia City Council is considering a bill that would allow the use of PVC piping in all underground construction. Previous efforts to allow the plastic pipes, in place of cast iron, have met resistance from the Plumbers union.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090417sppipes.mp3]

    Developers say one reason the cost of construction in the city is so high, is because of limits placed on the use of PVC piping. Sam Sherman is the president of the Building Industry Association of Philadelphia.

    Sherman: And for my purpose as a developer and for my individual members, it would reduce the cost of construction by $2000 to $2500 dollars.

    Sherman says that would be the cost savings for a typical new construction rowhouse, or one that would need its sewer lines replaced.

    That’s also why low-income housing groups support PVC piping.

    Sherman says the plumbers union will likely oppose the move because it means less man-hours to install PVC piping. But the plumbers say the cast iron pipes are safer.

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