Epoxy Barrier Coating System Eliminates Lead in University Housing Complex

When a university in South Carolina was showing unacceptable lead readings in their potable water, they searched for a certified installer of Nu Flow Technologies’ Nu Line Epoxy Barrier Coating solution, a system that is NSF/ANSI Standard 372 approved.

The solution creates a barrier between the existing pipe and the water flowing through it to eliminate leaching of lead into drinking water.

Customer and site: An on-campus apartment complex at a South Carolina university. The apartment complex, built in 1982, is made up of 29 buildings that house approximately 700 students.

System: Cold-water supply laterals connect the city main to the dorm buildings’ attics, then to every cold service in the building. These copper pipes have diameters that range from 3/4 to 2 1/2 inches.

Problem: The university repeatedly received unacceptable lead readings from the cold water in these apartments. Since the city water did not get readings of lead, it was apparent that the apartments’ cold-water pipes were the problem. Word came down from the top of the university to stop all Band-Aid-type fixes and get all of the apartment buildings' cold-water pipes coated with epoxy to prevent continued lead leaching. The university did not want to displace residents, so this work had to be done during the summer break, before the new school year started.

Solution: The certified Nu Line installers worked with the customer's rigid timetable and had technicians at the job site seven days a week for six weeks in order to get all of the work done before the summer break ended. The skilled technicians had to utilize five connections per residence in order to clean and coat the potable pipes.

First, an abrasive agent was blown through the pipes to clean and clear them of any buildup. Next, an epoxy barrier coating was blown through the pipes, which created a thin, protective layer throughout the pipe system. Nu Line is a long-term solution against lead leaching, pinhole leaks, corrosion buildup and other common potable system failures.

Learn more about the system and apply to become a certified Nu Line installer.