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J Water Health. 2015 Dec;13(4):960-9. doi: 10.2166/wh.2015.243.

The cleaning method selected for new PEX pipe installation can affect short-term drinking water quality.

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Department of Civil Engineering, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
Department of Chemistry, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
Department of Statistics and Mathematics, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL, USA.
Lyles School of Civil Engineering and Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA E-mail:


The influence of four different cleaning methods used for newly installed polyethylene (PEX) pipes on chemical and odor quality was determined. Bench-scale testing of two PEX (type b) pipe brands showed that the California Plumbing Code PEX installation method does not maximize total organic carbon (TOC) removal. TOC concentration and threshold odor number values significantly varied between two pipe brands. Different cleaning methods impacted carbon release, odor, as well the level of drinking water odorant ethyl tert-butyl ether. Both pipes caused odor values up to eight times greater than the US federal drinking water odor limit. Unique to this project was that organic chemicals released by PEX pipe were affected by pipe brand, fill/empty cycle frequency, and the pipe cleaning method selected by the installer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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