Using PVC for the rehabilitation of sewers

Hardly any other material has been so intensively researched as PVC in terms of environmental compatibility. Why is it that PVC still is such a highly controversial material?

Part of the explanation is that public opinion is not influenced by the results of comprehensive studies, but by reports highlighted by the media.

In order to have a rational, critical discussion on the use of PVC in sewer systems, Dr.-Ing. R. Stein, from S&P Consult GmbH in Bochum (Germany), addresses the current concerns and lists arguments.

He based his approach on a list of the most frequently cited concerns regarding the use of PVC which was compiled in 1999, as a result of a  survey involving 29 German municipalities.

Dr. Stein considers PVC as an indispensable part of the range of materials used in the construction industry today. In sewer systems PVC-U is used for pipes and pipe fittings. Particularly when used for the rehabilitation of sewers and drainage pipes, the material characteristics of PVC-U offer many advantages.

The main concerns from 1999 regarding PVC-U can essentially be considered to have been resolved, in view of the current manufacturing and recycling technology.

The full report by Dr Stein can be downloaded in German from or in English from