By Maury D. Gaston, Marketing Services Manager for AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe/AMERICAN SpiralWeld Pipe and Chairman of the Alabama Iron and Steel Council
On Wednesday, October 21, 2020, we celebrate “Imagine a Day without Water,” a day to inform Americans of the value and essential nature of water in every aspect of our lives.
One may even be clever and say water permeates every aspect of our lives – from home, to work, to industry, to public service. Manufacturing, construction, agriculture, timber, poultry, beef, textiles – all aspects of our lives are impacted and dependent on water. Alabama is blessed to have massive natural water resources flowing through our state.
What does this have to do with our iron and steel industry?
The Birmingham area is the ductile iron pipe capital of North America, and every current domestic ductile iron pipe manufacturing corporation has its beginnings here. Ductile iron pipe remains the most preferred pipe material for water distribution. It is the most prominent material in our nation’s water infrastructure, and much of it was made right here in the Birmingham area.
In larger diameters, spiral-welded steel is the prominent pipe material. These pipes can be as large as 12 feet in diameter and are essentially underground rivers. The steel for these massive water supply arteries is manufactured here in Alabama by members of the Alabama Iron and Steel Council, and the pipe is fabricated by those same members of the Alabama economy.
On Imagine a Day without Water, think of water every time you shower or bathe, turn on the tap, eat something, put on clean clothes, flush your toilet, or otherwise use water in any way.
And when you do, know that Alabama’s iron and steel industry plays a major role across the country and around the world in making all this possible through the manufacture of ductile iron and spiral-welded steel pipe.