Reliable Water Supply for the Future Generations in Ruse, Bulgaria

06. July 2022 | 3 min read

Access to clean water and sanitation has been listed as one of the UN sustainable development goals, ensuring the health of communities around the world. Recently, hygienic water supply came at risk in two neighborhoods in Ruse, Bulgaria, due to a leaking asbestos water main. Replacement of the outdated pipeline was needed, and Pipelife Bulgaria’s easy-to-install solution and consistently high service quality helped ensure that the project went smoothly.

A leaking asbestos cement water pipe | Pipelife

How Asbestos Pipelines Threaten Water Security in Bulgaria

Ruse is the biggest Bulgarian city on the Danube River and the most significant transport, logistics, business and cultural center in northern Bulgaria. Twenty-three centuries ago, an ancient Thracian port marked the beginning of this vibrant town, which nowadays has become a bustling hotspot for the Bulgarian economy and culture.

However, according to reports, Ruse also contributes to Bulgaria’s reputation as one of the top five countries in the EU with the highest water losses due to leakages. The existing water main in the city consists of asbestos cement pipes that were installed in the 60s. At the time, it was the cheapest solution but proved to have a relatively short service life. In recent years, the bursts had become frequent, and countless sections needing repair made network maintenance difficult.

In addition, it is now known that asbestos has carcinogenic properties, putting the health of communities served by such pipelines at risk. Currently, the remaining asbestos water lines in Ruse, just like in other Bulgarian cities, are gradually replaced, ensuring that the new networks fully meet the EU requirements.

Building Sustainable Pipelines for Generations to Come

This year, 9 kilometers of asbestos pipelines in the Sredna Kula and Dolapite neighborhoods of Ruse were replaced with Pipelife HDPE RC (resistant to crack) Pipes, DN 400.

The compact but flexible pipe system made entirely from PE 100 RC show an extremely high resistance against slow cracking and high point loading. In the rare case a crack is formed on the surface of the pipe, it develops more slowly compared to pipes made from other materials.

Furthermore, Pipelife’s HDPE RC pipes boast a service life of at least 100 years and fully comply with national as well as international standards. The outstanding longevity of PE 100 RC has been confirmed in a study conducted by TEPPFA (the European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association).

Two installers working at the site | Pipelife
A close up of Pipelife's PE 100 RC water supply pipe at the installation site | Pipelife

Established Partnerships Help Achieve Successful Outcomes 

The water main replacement in Ruse was co-funded by the EU Cohesion Fund, Operational Programme “Environment Bulgaria 2014-2020", and the water and sewerage company ViK OOD-Ruse.

Putsroy -Varna EOOD and Severni void OOD were selected as the main contractors for the reconstruction works, and both companies already look back to a decade-long, successful cooperation with Pipelife Bulgaria. Their choice for Pipelife’s PE RC pipes was not only made because the product fully met the project’s requirements but also because of the excellent cooperation and prompt deliveries in the past.

These factors contributed to the smooth development of the project, and the water main replacement could be completed in May. The renewed network not only has helped to lower water losses in the city but also ensures access to clean and safe drinking water in Ruse’s neighborhoods.

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