powderblue2009
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:30 pm

PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Hi All, I am a beginninger gardener and we have a veggie garden, and I am planting to setup a slow drip irrigation system for it, and I need to use some PVC pipes to connect the water line to the timer to where the planter is. But my wife said PVC pipes has chemicals and she doesnt want me to use it since we are doing organic gardening. Do you all think it is safe to use PVC pipes and its glue?

Thank you

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Volatile organic components migrating from plastic pipes (HDPE, PEX and PVC) into drinking water.
Skjevrak I, Due A, Gjerstad KO, Herikstad H.
SourceRegional Food Control Authority, Midt-Rogaland, Forusbeen 3, N-4033 Stavanger, Norway. skjevrak@nmt-mrog.rl.no

Abstract
High-density polyethylene pipes (HDPE), crossbonded polyethylene pipes (PEX) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes for drinking water were tested with respect to migration of volatile organic components (VOC) to water. The odour of water in contact with plastic pipes was assessed according to the quantitative threshold odour number (TON) concept. A major migrating component from HDPE pipes was 2,4-di-tert-butyl-phenol (2,4-DTBP) which is a known degradation product from antioxidants such as Irgafos 168(R). In addition, a range of esters, aldehydes, ketones, aromatic hydrocarbons and terpenoids were identified as migration products from HDPE pipes. Water in contact with HDPE pipes was assessed with respect to TON, and values > or =4 were determined for five out of seven brands of HDPE pipes. The total amount of VOC released to water during three successive test periods were fairly constant for the HDPE pipes. Corresponding migration tests carried out for PEX pipes showed that VOC migrated in significant amounts into the test water, and TON >/=5 of the test water were observed in all tests. Several of the migrated VOC were not identified. Oxygenates predominated the identified VOC in the test water from PEX pipes. Migration tests of PVC pipes revealed few volatile migrants in the test samples and no significant odour of the test water.
Do you drink, cook or bathe with the water coming out of your faucet?

Eric

powderblue2009
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Yes we do, but the pipe are coppers. The other reason she used is, the PVC will be under the sun and the UV can cause it to leach chemicals.

And the pipes are inside walls, not under the sun directly.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11233
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

I don't think PVC pipe is that much of an issue. If you live in a newer house the water lines only have a short piece of copper on the end and the main lines are made of flexible plastic tubing. Consider drip irrigation tubing instead it won't last forever, but it does have UV protection. I use it because it is easier for me to use, it is more flexible and I hate gluing. It is easier for me to add and repair than rigid pvc pipe and I have had to repair both.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

I work in the water industry making High purity water systems for industrial and Dialysis systems and we use PVC, CPVC and PEX tubing for all of these. In fact they are some of the few that are allowed to be used for this type of aggressive water! If it is good enough to move water that is mixing with blood that is being sent back to the body it should be good enough for a garden. As for the sun just wrap the pipe with insulation of some type. Even a simple tape wrap would block the UV rays.

Your best bet to keep the wife happy is run your system in Polypropylene tubing it is light easy to use safe and inexpensive and it does last real well in the sun. It comes in many sizes and you can get a ton of different fittings for it. We use it in high purity systems all the time.

Do you use a garden hose to water now? Ever drink from a hose? They leach out chemicals like crazy thats why the water out of them tastes so bad!

powderblue2009
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Thank you all, I will look into Polypropylene tubing, and yes those garden hose does create a strong smell when under the sun, but there's nothing I can use other then those garden hose.

And maybe I can convince her if I wrap it with UV insulation of some kind.

I guess her madness is only because we have a 3 years old eating from the garden. So she has the right to be concern. We don't want to get sick either.

Thank you again.

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

I guess her madness is only because we have a 3 years old eating from the garden. So she has the right to be concern. We don't want to get sick either.
I don't have children, but I can understand your concerns. Being organic and evironmetally aware is a good thing.

I just feel your pvc pipe is no worse than:

A room full of electronics.
You sitting in front of your computer
A cell phone close to your head
Driving a car
Cooking with aluminum and or non-stick cookware
A air conditioned office
Eat at restuarants
Hospital visit
blah blah blah.

Anyway, Cover the pipe with a good layer of mulch. Mulch will keep it cool and be less of a problem.

Eric

brinboise
Full Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:53 pm
Location: SW Idaho

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

powderblue2009 wrote:Yes we do, but the pipe are coppers
The lead from soldering the copper fittings should be of a bigger concern than the PVC pipe. Or maybe the 10's of thousands of miles of Cement-Asbestos Transite water mains, radon, or , or...the list is endless. Not to worry about the PVC

Dillbert
Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

he's married. so, whether there is or is not anything to worry about depends on . . . uhhh, nothing - he's married. . . . when married, some opinions count more that others, facts regardless.

in USA lead solder in water systems was outlawed in the mid-1980's. how old is the house?

>>UV leaching
UV light cannot penetrate PVC/CPVC; UV may degrade the outside, but has zip comma zero effect on the interior walls.

pssst: really really strong UV light is used to kill bacteria in some water systems. don't tell anybody.....

>>leaching
oops. that's a heat/temperature issue, possible compounded by specific water chemistry,,, pH mostly..... if there is an issue.

putting any kind of "cover" on any pipe to prevent 'UV anything leaching into the water' is quite a useless exercise. see: married

DoubleDogFarm
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:43 am

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

If man is wrong when alone in the woods, I ask, why is he there.


Eric

powderblue2009
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:30 pm

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Oh i like all these facts! I guess i will replace the gardening hose and replace it with pvcs. I have these hoses pop and wasted so much gallons of waters.

Yes married with kids definitely limited your options. :D

The house was build in the 50's or 60's. I see copper pipes.

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:39 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Just get yourself some Polypropylene tubing it is real cheap and run yourself an underground watering system and quit worrying about it.

akosikeybean
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:43 am

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

Hi guys! Good day.

I am planning to plant easy grown vegetables in a pvc pipe. I'm a newbie. Haha. I would like to ask if is it okay to plant in a pipe where both ends are open? I already cut off a portion of it. Would this affect the growth of the vegetables?


Thaaaanks guys. ☺️

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11233
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: PVC Pipes and Chemical leaking into Organic Garden

The risk is very small. PVC pipes and plastics in general have been around for a few generations now.

Life without risk would be paradise, reality is unless you live in a bubble there is risk everywhere.

Take a breath, there are dust mites and chemicals in the air you breathe.
Everytime you leave your house to interact with the world if you take a walk around the block (you could get hit by a car), if you bike ( same thing), get in your car ( the chances are good that you will get into at least one accident in your lifetime). Even staying in the house, you could fall in the house, slip in the bathtub, fall down the stairs, someone could break in to the house or someone in the house or a neighbor may have a psychotic episode and go berserk.

You can get food poisoning from your organic lettuce if the farmer does not know that a cow pasture upsteam is contaminating his field or if the workers handling the produce on the farm or in the store or anywhere along the line passes on some germs.

Baby cribs, cars, seat belts, air bags, car seats, toys are recalled all of the time. There is just no such thing as zero risk. All you can do is make reasonable choices and assume reasonable risk.

You want to keep your family safe and you can control some things but there are no guarantees in life except that at some point, each individual will have to learn to make their own choices, you cannot foresee the future, death is inevitable, and life is for the living not the worrying.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Return to “Organic Gardening Forum”