West Springfield, MA, Joins DIPRA's Century Club, Honoring Its Use of Cast Iron Pipes for More than 100 Years

Town Upgrades to Ductile Iron Pipes When Water Mains Need Replacing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) welcomes the Town of West Springfield, MA, to the Century Club, recognizing the town's continuous use of cast iron pipes in its water system for at least 100 years.

"The DIPRA Century Club is a great educational tool when drinking water and other utilities are out of sight and mind to explain that conduits of a precious resource need to be durable, safe, and resistant from environmental factors that will last many lifetimes," said West Springfield Mayor William C. Reichelt. "We are proud of the work that the West Springfield Water Division puts in day-in and day-out to provide our community with 24 hours a day, seven days a week, access to high-quality water. There are no other commodities that we have access to where it is delivered to our residents' houses daily, so they have it when they need it at such affordable rates, but that is exactly what the Water Division helps to do. Their long-term commitment to affordable and resilient materials like ductile iron has helped them in their drive to maintain this low cost yet high-quality service."

The section of water main that is the focus of the Century Club's induction is about 6 miles of cast-iron pipes underneath Kings Highway and Elm Street, initially installed in October 1875. The lines range in size from 6 to 18 inches. The town's Dept. of Public Works noted that some parts of the original pipes were taken out of service in the 1950s. The West Springfield Aquaduct Company installed the pipes.

Elsewhere in town, 28 miles of cast-iron pipes are more than 100 years old. But the Town has been upgrading its water infrastructure. About 82 percent of the town's mains are cast iron, while the rest – except for 2 percent – have been replaced with Ductile iron pipe.

"Everything has a life span, and when we replace the water mains, the Ductile pipe will be the Town's first choice," said Jeffrey R. Auer, the Deputy Director of Water. He added that foresight by the town, water operators, and public works superintendents has led to a consistent standard that ensures the continuity of the water system.

There are more than 540 utilities in the United States and 34 utilities in Canada that are members of the Century Club. These utilities are all still using at least some of the cast iron pipes installed underground more than 100 years ago. DIPRA also sponsors a Sesquicentennial Club in which 25 utilities in the U.S. and 4 in Canada are known to be using cast iron pipes for more than 150 years.

"DIPRA's Century Club honors the lasting legacy of cast iron pipe, which is the forerunner of Ductile iron pipe," said DIPRA President Patrick J. Hogan. "We're proud to welcome the Town of West Springfield and recognize its commitment to providing its community with clean, safe drinking water. The smart planning by officials to invest in long-lasting pipes that are resilient to environmental pressures and time shows how important it is to make the right choices for water infrastructure. Ductile iron pipe is the smartest choice for communities looking to provide clean drinking water for generations."

About DIPRA 

Founded in 1915, the Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA) has served as a resource and technical advisor to the water industry. DIPRA also provides representation on standards-making committees as well as technical research on a variety of applications-based topics. While DIPRA member companies have different names and locations, they share a common commitment to produce and deliver the finest quality water and wastewater pipe material in the world, Ductile Iron Pipe, and at the greatest possible value to its purchasers.


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SOURCE Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association (DIPRA)