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Water pipes have been in use since 4,000 BCE. However, no pipe can last forever. Over the years, various materials and solutions have been tested to create pipes that are long-lasting, durable, and sustainable but many have fallen short. Hobas Pipe is dedicated to improving America’s water infrastructure with their Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer Mortar (FRPM) a material built with longevity and sustainability in mind. Learn more about fiberglass pipe and the pipes of the future below.

The Water Pipe - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
The Water Pipe: Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow
Humans have been building pipes since 4,000 B.C.

Finding a sustainable solution matters more than ever

A Quick History Of The Water Pipe

Indus River Valley, 4,000 – 3,000 BCE
Clay pipes
Ancient Crete/Minoa, 3,000 – 2,150 BCE
Wood pipes
Egypt, 2,500 – 2,150 BCE
Copper pipes
Ancient Greece, 538 – 522 BCE
First true aqueducts (underground terracotta pipes)
Ancient Rome, 312 BCE – 226 CE
11 aqueducts constructed with:
Today, there’s more than 2.2 million miles of water pipe in the US
That’s enough pipe to complete 4.5 round trips to the moon!

But even with these advances, there’s a water main break approximately every two minutes in the U.S.
America’s infrastructure is in need of an overhaul

That’s why US communities will invest nearly $8.5 billion in building, replacing, and rehabilitating drinking water pipe networks in 2024 – How did we get here?

Historical pipe material usage & Average Life Expectancy*
*Average life expectancy of pipe can be influenced by a number of factors including social conditions, medical care, etc.

Steel Pipes – 1820

85 years – Due to the corrosion, actual life span may be significantly reduced to less than 50 years
Compared with PCCP, steep pipe has:
64% larger CO2 emissions from manufacturing
32% larger footprint due to greater energy used during manufacturing
Why innovation is needed
Comparably expensive to other pipes
Poor thermal conductivity
Difficult repairs and replacements
Corrosion issues

It took more than 100 years for the next breakthrough in water transport, iterating on steel with dual layers of concrete

Prestressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP) – 1942

Approximately 20 – 40 years
Over time, PCCP’s CO2 emissions have been reduced by:
75% on the fabrication phase
7% on the operation phase
43% on the disposal phase
Why innovation is needed
High rate of premature failure, typically occurring by sudden rupturing of the pipe wall

To reduce the PCCP’s high rate of failure, engineers introduced another solution: DIP

Ductile Iron (DIP) – 1955

55 years
Extremely large environmental impact
128 kg of CO2 gas emission from every 1 meter of 200 mm DIP
Why innovation is needed
Iron pipe wall thickness has been reduced by 76% from 1908 to 1991
Thinner DIPs leads to higher corrosion risks and reduces its lifespan to just 11 – 14 years
Corroded DIPs leads to developmental delays in infants, kidney, liver, and bone damage in adults and 42% reduction in plant root growth

Sometimes referred to as the Tesla of pipe, Hobas FRP has spent 30+ years transporting high pressure water around the world

Hobas Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer Mortar (FRPM) – 1960

150+ years
Utilized for both new and existing water mains and wastewater pipelines
Adds an additional 150+ years to the lifespan with minimal disruption
Lowest carbon footprint of any other water piping system
579.3 kg of CO2/m

As of February 20, 2024, the Federal Government announced $5.8 billion in funding for updating municipal water infrastructure.

It’s time to get your municipality ready for the pipes of the future

Why We Need The Water Pipe To Keep Evolving And Improving

Slash wasted water
Currently in the US:
We lose 6 billion gallons of treated water per day
Enough to fill 9,000+ swimming pools
Of the nation’s 2.2 million total miles of drinking water pipe, only around 12,000 miles—or 0.5%—are replaced each year, equating to a 200-year replacement cycle
Restore aging infrastructure with future-proof materials
We are 75 years into an infrastructure only designed to last 50 years
150 year+ pipes:
Cut maintenance needs
Reduce odor emissions
Prevent catastrophic sinkholes in roads and streets
Cut carbon impacts for a sustainable future
Allows for upfitting of aging municipal infrastructure with a lower carbon footprint
Old city sewers
To focus on long-term sustainability strategies, municipalities are leaning into:
Chief Resilience Officers
Chief ESG Officers
Chief Sustainability Officers

For municipalities demanding safe and reliable infrastructure, fiberglass reinforced polymer is the water infrastructure of the future.