This paper presents the preliminary results of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study which aims to compare two different potable water pipe materials: ductile iron (DI) and medium density polyethylene (MDPE). Stages where environmental impacts may be reduced in the life cycle of these pipes have been highlighted. A takeback scheme between water companies and pipe suppliers has been identified as an environmental improvement to the current disposal stage of the pipe life cycle. Potential exists for dual-use or reuse of abandoned mains.

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