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Pipe Selection for Water and Sewer Projects

Pete Peterson, P.E.
Course #2020021
PDH: 6 hrs
Price: $58.00

Course Description

There are over one million miles of water distribution and transmission main and another one million miles of sewer main in place in the United States. One of the key components of design of water and sewer pipeline projects is the selection of pipe. This design decision is often overlooked because we use the pipes that we’ve always used in the past. This course will describe a wide variety of pipes that are used for both pressure and gravity service. It will cover the differences in pipe materials and discuss conditions when each material should be considered. It will also cover the important installation parameters for each pipe material.

Course Summary

This course will provide the user with a basic understanding of the different materials used for pressure and gravity pipes. It will cover the pressure ratings and friction factors for ductile iron, steel, PVC and HDPE pressure pipe along with the different joint configurations that are used. Two approaches to resisting thrust forces – thrust blocks and restrained joints – will be covered. The course will cover friction factors and joint types for gravity pipes including reinforced concrete, PVC, corrugated HDPE, corrugated polyethylene, corrugated metal, vitrified clay, steel reinforced HDPE and centrifugally cast fiberglass reinforced polymer mortar pipe. Main installation parameters including bedding, backfill, minimum and maximum cover and testing of the completed pipe will also be covered.

Course Outline

• Ductile Iron/Cast Iron
• Smooth Steel
• Solid Wall PVC
• Solid Wall HDPE
• Asbestos-Cement
• Joint Types and Restraint
• Fittings

• Solid Wall PVC
• Profile Wall PVC
• Ductile Iron/Cast Iron
• Reinforced Concrete
• Corrugated Metal (steel and aluminum)
• Corrugated HDPE
• Vitrified Clay
• Profile Wall Polypropylene
• Steel Reinforced Corrugated HDPE
• Centrifugally Cast Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer Mortar

• Bedding and Backfill
• Depth of Cover (minimum and maximum)
• Pressure Testing for Pressure Pipes
• Leak Testing for Gravity Pipes

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the user will:
• Understand the differences between pressure class and special thickness class ductile iron pipe
• Understand the differences between the pressure ratings for ductile iron, PVC and HDPE pressure pipes.
• Understand the differences between PVC pipe meeting AWWA C900, ASTM D2241 and ASTM D1784 pressure pipe specifications.
• Have a basic understanding of the different types of joints used for pressure pipes.
• Understand how to resist thrust forces including thrust blocks and joint restraints.
• Have a basic understanding of the wide variety of options available for gravity sewer pipes.
• Understand the importance of bedding requirements and minimum and maximum depths of cover for water and sewer pipes.
• Understand how water and sewer lines are tested after installation to ensure that the pipes have been properly installed.


There are no special prerequisites for this course.

Intended Audience

This course is intended as an introduction to pipe selection therefore the intended audience includes all engineers designing or specifying water, sanitary sewer or storm sewer pipelines. working in the water resources field. It also includes those engineers and managers responsible for reviewing pipeline projects or establishing local standards for material selection.