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By Jon Runge

The U.S. Capitol’s iconic dome is undergoing a $60 million restoration, the first in more than 50 years. It is interesting to those of us that represent manufacturers of Ductile Iron Pipe that the dome is an iron structure; a symbol of strength recognized the world over.

Birmingham, AL– May 11, 2015 — The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) is pleased to announce that Josh Blount, E.I., will be joining the organization as Staff Engineer and Project Manager.

Birmingham, AL — The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) is proud to announce the appointment of Andrew J. Pihaly, P.E., as Regional Engineer for the Western States.

Pihaly’s years of experience in business management and service in the water and wastewater industry will be an important asset for the engineers, utilities and others who depend on DIPRA, which has been providing expert guidance and engineering knowledge for a century.

There was a time, going back to Boston’s founding in 1620, when its residents relied on wells, rain barrels, and a spring on Boston Common for their water. An upgrade of sorts came in 1795 when a delivery system was developed to carry water through wooden pipes to Boston from nearby Jamaica Pond.

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) points to 1848 as the year when the city’s first modern water system was begun, using a large new reservoir and a few miles of cast-iron pipe as its foundation. Continuing to count on the strength and longevity of iron pipe, the BWSC system now serves more than 1 million people daily. The BWSC water distribution system has 1,012 miles of pipe, and 995 of that is either cast iron or Ductile Iron.

For several generations, iron pipe has earned a reputation for strength and durability, having served North America for almost 200 years. Modern ductile iron pipe, made by the member companies of the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Assn. (DIPRA), continues that record of service. The advent of centrifugal casting and cement-mortar lining in the 1920s, the development of Ductile Iron Pipe and polyethylene encasement in the 1950s, and the introduction, today, of the V-Bio enhanced polyethylene encasement are just a few examples of milestone moments in the ductile pipe industry’s past.

The mantra of saving energy is a growing trend. For example, homeowners can program modern thermostats to make energy consumption more efficient. The development of hybrid vehicles and electric-powered cars stems from a desire to minimize reliance on fossil fuels and their effects on the environment. And the Defense Department is dedicated to researching biofuels, solar and wind power, and other means of reducing energy use.

For more than a half-century, polyethylene encasement has been used to protect thousands of miles of cast and Ductile Iron Pipelines throughout North America and across the world. Now, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) has introduced the V-Bio product, a new generation of polyethylene encasement that adds an active component to its protection.

DIPRA President Jon Runge writes for OpFlow on the durability and sustainability that's built into Ductile Iron Pipe from the very start. Read his full piece here.

This might sound like a cliché but it happens to be very true: no one notices water infrastructure when it’s working. Buried neatly beneath the ground, these networks of pipes supply our homes and businesses with the vital clean water that life requires. Member companies of the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) are manufacturers of durable, environmentally responsible Ductile Iron Pipe, and the organization takes pride in pipe that has quietly gone about its business for a century or more.

Baseball—America’s favorite pastime--and the country’s water infrastructure have one thing in common: they’re both more than a century old. And if you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably heard that a water main break outside of Coors Field caused a Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds game to be postponed. Any Rockies fans planning on rooting for the home team were surely disappointed, but unfortunately, the consequences of our aging water infrastructure go far beyond a baseball game.

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