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More work needed on rats and plastic pipes

Sir,

IN RESPONSE to the letter from Stuart Godfrey, of Uponor, regard-ing plastic pipes (Construction News, December 4), I too have read the Robens Institute report on rat infestations.

Interestingly, one point which Mr Godfrey fails to mention is that 40 per cent of the environmental health officers who responded to the survey had experience of rats damaging plastic pipes.

I would fully accept Mr Godfrey's view that the sample was 'hardly sizeable', but plastic pipes clearly have some susceptibility to rodent attack and more work is obviously needed, given the important public health implications.

Second, to claim that 'flexibility in pipe systems ... is a benefit to aid asset life' is totally misleading. The integrity of a plastic pipeline basically depends on an appropriate gravel bed and surround.

Even then, plastic pipes flatten and lose strength over time, in contrast to rigid pipe alternatives.

This is the reason why plastic pipe manufacturers are unable to give the 100 year-plus guarantees offered by their rigid pipe competitors.

Edward Naylor

Managing director

Naylor Clayware

Clough Green

Barnsley