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Plastic pipes don't need a pied piper to show worth

Sir,

IN RESPONSE to your article regarding plastic pipes and rats (Construction News, October 23).

The Roebens report, on which most of the article was based, suggested that rat infestation was on the increase due to a number of factors: a lack of sewer baiting, an increase in fast food litter, fly tipping and a failure to seal off redundant services from derelict buildings.

Unfortunately, it would appear that this report has become the source of a number of confusing articles. Of the 54 public health officers polled in the postal survey - hardly a sizeable population in itself - 89 per cent saw no discernible difference between plastic pipes and their more rigid counterparts when asked if material made pipes more vulnerable.

None of those interviewed had any direct evidence to support their opinions.

The report stated that the majority of local

authority officers believed that the most common reason for rat infestation was inadequate sewer baiting; who does it - the local authority or the water company, and who pays?

To use the words of the report's author, Stephen Battersby, our national sewer system is 'deteriorating faster than it is being renovated'.

Is it not time therefore, that we concentrate on the issues that are affecting the advancement of the

industry and debate the relative resistance of different materials to accommodate ground movement?

Flexibility in pipe systems rather than rigidity is a benefit to aid asset life. New sewers should be cost effective, easy to maintain, leak- tight and flexible.

Plastic pipes offer these properties.

Stuart Godfrey

Head of business management

Uponor