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dc.contributor.authorHeim, Timothy Howarden_US

The use of polymer pipes is now very common in home plumbing and other parts of the drinking water distribution system. Many taste and odor complaints in drinking water are known to originate from contact of water with materials. The ability of polymer pipes used in home plumbing to affect drinking water quality and aesthetics was investigated using the Utility Quick Test (UQT). Analysis of water quality and aesthetics were conducted in the absence of disinfectant and the presence of either chlorine or chloramines. A Flavor Profile Analysis (FPA) panel was trained according to Standard Methods 2170B to evaluate the organoleptic characteristics of the samples. Laboratory analyses were performed to determine levels of total organic carbon (TOC), disinfectant residual, pH and to attempt to identify specific volatile organics.

The first part of this study investigated HDPE, cPVC and epoxy lined copper pipes using the UQT method. Both HDPE and epoxy-lined copper had significant effects on water quality and aesthetics during the approximately 10 day exposure of the UQT. HDPE and epoxy-lined copper leached significant amounts of TOC and consumed more disinfectant than controls, but in different amounts. cPVC was the most inert of the materials tested and had the least impact on water quality and did not contribute any significant odor. None of the pipes tested appeared to contribute trihalomethanes to drinking water, but further analysis revealed that the compounds may actually be generated and subsequently sorbed into pipe walls. These data show the effects of newly installed polymeric pipe materials and their potential to impact water quality in differing capacities.

The second part of this study compared the results of the UQT on HDPE, epoxy lined copper, cPVC, PEX-a and PEX-b with the goal of comparing and contrasting how five different polymeric plumbing materials can impact drinking water quality. Results demonstrated the short-term ability of all pipe materials except cPVC to impact water quality and aesthetics. This data could potentially be useful in generating selection criteria for homeowners and plumbing professionals regarding the impact of newly installed plumbing materials.

dc.publisherVirginia Techen_US
dc.rightsI hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Virginia Tech or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.en_US
dc.subjectplumbing materialsen_US
dc.subjectdrinking wateren_US
dc.titleImpact of Polymeric Plumbing Materials on Drinking Water Quality and Aestheticsen_US
dc.contributor.departmentCivil Engineeringen_US
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen_US of Scienceen_US Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen_US Engineeringen_US
dc.contributor.committeechairDietrich, Andrea M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEdwards, Marc A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMarr, Linsey C.en_US

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