Pipes for Drainage


Water can have a damaging impact when not adequately removed from the interior and exterior of buildings and the areas around them. Any built-up area should have a suitable drainage system as part of the infrastructure, with separate systems generally used for waste water and storm water. These systems comprise a network of drainage pipes, with the design process specifying the exact requirements for each pipe in accordance with relevant standards.

Pipe Materials

  • Pipes for drainage come in a few materials that vary in strength, flow characteristics and resistance to corrosion and temperature. Different ground conditions, locations and laying depths will require the use of different pipe materials, with relevant design standards specifying the exact requirements for the use of each material. Some of the common drainage pipe materials include concrete, ductile and cast iron, PVC, vitrified clay and aluminum. While some materials form solid pipes, others can produce both solid and perforated pipes.

Pipe Sizes

  • The sizing of a drainage pipe takes into consideration the volume of water carried, with the design process working through a network from start to finish to size each individual pipe. Pipe sizes will generally increase through a system as the volume of water increases, with the outfall pipe of a system generally having the largest diameter. Most drainage pipes have a circular profile, and come in a range of standard diameters. This can start as small as 50mm, and can increase to a size of around 2.5m

Pipe Installation

  • To ensure a drainage system works correctly, the design needs to specify the pipe installation details. Typical details required include the size of the pipe and length between manholes. Other information should include the dimensions of the trench, which depends on the diameter of the pipe and the depth at which it will be placed. The type and thickness of bedding material on which the pipe sits should also be specified, as should the type of material needed to fill the trench over the laid pipe.

Pipe Maintenance

  • Pipe blockages can stop a drainage system working properly, and proper maintenance can help to avoid this. Maintenance work can use a few different methods to clear blockages, including drain rods and hydro-jetting. Drainage pipes are generally laid in lengths between manholes to suit the requirements of the network, but also to suit maintenance purposes. The placement of manholes ensures that convenient access is available to any pipe in a system, such that maintenance work can clear blockages.

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