In 2007, Cascade, Idaho, began to replace its entire crack-ridden concrete, steel, and cast iron drinking water system with high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. The leaky system was taking its toll on residents, who paid $2.50/1,000 gallons of water in 2007—up from 73 cents in 1993.

This is one of the examples the Plastic Pipe Institute (PPI) is using in its “Be AHero – Building Community” campaign to show how infrastructure departments are using HDPE pipes for water, sewer, and storm-water drainage systems.

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are wasted every day due to cracked, corroded pipes, and improperly aligned sections of pipe, according to PPI Executive Director Tony Radoszewski. Water utilities accept an average leak rate of 13%. According to an International Water Supply Association study, 20% to 30% of water never reaches its destination.