About NCPI

The National Clay Pipe Institute is a 100+ year-old not-for-profit technical resource representing the manufacturers of Vitrified Clay Pipe in the U.S. Our primary focus is research and education.

Why VCP?

The Sustainable Solution!

  • Environmentally Responsible:

    VCP is the most sustainable pipe for gravity flow wastewater systems. With naturally environmentally friendly raw materials (clay, shale & water), one of the lowest carbon footprints of any pipe material, regional production facilities, and the longest service life, clay pipe is (and always has been) the most environmentally responsible choice for gravity sanitary sewers.  For details of a third-party ISO-140001 compliant audit of the cradle-to-grave impacts of VCP, see the [Score Card].

  • Modern Aggressive Cleaning:

    Proper cleaning is vital to reducing Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) and extending the life of the community asset that is your sewer pipeline.  VCP can be cleaned more aggressively than any pipe material available.  With allowable hydrojetting pressures of more than 3X competitive pipe products’ and the availability of mechanical cleaning methods, VCP is the most efficient pipe to have in a system over the long term.  For more comparative information about cleaning methods for various pipe products, see our [Allowable Cleaning Methods chart].

  • Longevity: 4,000 – 6,500 Years!

    That’s the approximate age of clay sewer and drain pipe found in Ephesus, Turkey, and Knossos, Greece.  The pipe at both locations didn’t benefit from computer-controlled firing temperatures or vacuum extrusion, but they have not changed over the millennia.  If hand-shaped clay, fired in wood-fired kilns can attain this life, how long do you think the pipe that benefits from current manufacturing practices will last?


    For the last 6,500 years clay has been the preferred option for sewer pipe material.  As one of the earliest industries to work with ASTM, clay pipe manufacturers were instrumental in establishing manufacturing and installation standards more than 100 years ago.  This rich history provides unmatched expertise and an unmatched service life.

Unmatched structural integrity, the longest service life, modern aggressive cleaning techniques, and environmentally preferable manufacturing all make VCP the best pipe material for gravity sanitary sewers.

Find out more about the history of VCP and NCPI through the years here.

  • Why NCPI?

    As an organization NCPI is responsible for the development of leak free, factory applied compression joints and the air pressure test to verify the performance of those joints. Specific installation methods and practices were developed by NCPI over years of research to insure the longest service life of any available material.

    The National Clay Pipe Institute is an unsurpassed technical resource offering educational seminars on a variety of subjects (with PDH’s available depending on local regulations).  We continue our strong tradition of scholarly research by partnering with universities and municipalities in field research projects designed to address specific concerns.