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LCBPU moves away from copper, adopts PEX tubing

Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 4:58 am

Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities officials, during Thursday evening’s board meeting, agreed to discuss using an alternative water line material on the Phase VI project during a pre-construction meeting with contractors set for Monday.

Ronnie Braden, superintendent, said that beginning with the Phase VI program, he would like to get away from using copper lines and switch to PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing. The copper, he says, was once the gold standard, but there are too many impurities in the copper now days.

Copper lines don’t hold up the way they once did, Braden said. Several of the leaks repaired recently have been copper lines. 

PEX tubing, he stated, is blue poly-type tubing that he hopes will last a lot longer than the copper lines have.

“The cost is one-third or less than copper,” he commented. “Everybody is going to it.”

Board members then voted to begin using PEX tubing instead of copper.

Last fiscal year, LCBPU had 393 line repairs at a cost of $287,000, Braden explained.

“These are all main line repairs,” he said.

The system also replaced 167 meters at a cost of $32,000 last year.

Phase VI will include replacing old water lines with new lines on East and West Prospect Roads, Highway 231 from Prospect Road to Lincoln Road and on Ardmore Highway to Skinem.

In July, W & O Construction of Livingston, Tenn. was approved as the lowest and best bidder for the project at $2.750 million.