Concrete Manholes

Posted by & filed under Pipes & Manholes.

Concrete pipeline systems manufacturers are determined to continuously innovate as the industry strives for improved pipeline and manhole construction quality and performance, delivering reduced waste, lower costs, faster build times and minimised environmental impacts.

The design flexibility of concrete pipe and manhole systems means that many special features can be incorporated in the factory and simply placed into position on site. These “offsite solutions” can replace lengthy in-situ operations, thus improving site safety and product quality, reducing waste, speeding up installation and reducing costs.

The new precast manhole base system yields environmental advantages; less concrete is used, there is less waste and less excavated material is disposed to landfill. An annual saving of over 22,000 tonnes of CO₂e is estimated in the UK if all manholes manufactured by members of CPSA changed to the new precast base system.

For more information on Concrete manhole construction please visit the CPSA website.


Posted by & filed under Costs, Design.

Two of our most popular online tools have been updated and we’ve also launched a new web App.


Providing access to the Structural Design and Material Cost Calculators for people on the move via iPhone or Android devices enhances the usefulness of these highly popular online tools. That is why you’ll now find the new web App available for download from the App Store and the Google Play Store. Changes to the original online calculators have been introduced to further simplify the calculation process and to improve the user experience. Designers and installers can now select the most economical buried pipeline solution with just a few swipes of the finger. The pipe factor of safety is now automatically determined in the Structural Design Calculator based on recommendations in BS 9295 and the Material Cost Calculator now provides users with the option to override the default values for bulk densities of excavated materials and imported granular bedding material. A further development is that results from the Structural Design Calculator can be input directly to the Material Cost Calculator and both calculators can export results into either a PDF or Excel file.

Check out the calculators and App:

Posted by & filed under eNewsletters & eBlasts.

Welcome to the Autumn 2016 issue of Pipelines, your eNewsletter from the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association.

In this issue we focus primarily on cost issues. Here at the CPSA we are always keen to focus on the quality, performance and longevity benefits of using concrete, but nevertheless are aware that for most projects cost is going play a major part in the decision making process. We are therefore pleased to introduce our improved online calculators to give users the information they need to make decisions based on true comparisons. Innovations to help keep costs under control and training to support decision making are also in the mix which I hope you will find useful and informative.

Stuart Crisp, Director, CPSA

Updates to online calculators plus new App

Two of our most frequently accessed online tools – our Structural Design Calculator and our Material Cost Calculator – have been updated to make it even easier to select the most appropriate and economical sewer pipeline solution. At the same time we are launching a downloadable App, providing access to the Calculators for people on the move, available from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

Cost effective bedding design

Cost is king. When it comes to constructing buried pipeline systems the cost of the installed system will derive not only from the pipe product but also from the bedding material used in the installation. Over designed bedding solutions can add significantly to the cost of the project – our calculators provide an easy way to work out the impact of a range of options.

Reducing the installation cost of manholes

The construction of manholes has traditionally required the base to be formed in-situ, often in wet and unpleasant conditions – a process that can take up to 40 hours. The modern alternative is the recently developed precast manhole base system. Arriving on site pre-formed and ready to be placed, field trials indicate that time savings of over 30% can easily be achieved and costs reduced by well over 10%.

CPD presentation outlines the bedding argument

CPSA has designed a CPD presentation focused on bedding design. “Optimising Pipeline Bedding Design to Achieve Installed Cost and Carbon Efficiencies” covers the structural design fundamentals for buried pipelines, describing the process by which structural integrity can be combined with minimum installation costs. As with all of the CPD presentations available from CPSA, this free CPD is independently accredited and approved by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Engineers (CIWEM) and the Construction CPD Certification Service.

Working safer and reducing costs

Originally developed to increase site safety, the award-winning Concrete Pipe Lifter significantly reduces the time taken to unload and install waste water pipelines. In fact, we estimate that it will save around 50% of time during the installation process with a consequent reduction in installation cost. The Pipe Lifter can easily be fitted to an excavator on site and is easy to use, requiring minimal training. Feedback from early adopters has been firmly and universally positive.

Pumping station turns to concrete

Over 200m of large diameter precast concrete pipes from CPSA member CPM Group have been installed as part of the refurbishment of Pennington Pumping Station – a key asset in Greater Manchester’s flood defence operations. The benefit of concrete in offering a strong, stable, sustainable performance, backed by over 150 years of proven success made it the obvious choice for this project.

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CPSA currently offers industry professionals the choice of four accredited CPD presentations. These presentations have also received the approval of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and are recognised as CIWEM Accredited Short Courses. All the presentations can be offered as a free seminar at your local office or at a suitable location. CPD certificates are available to all attendees.

Posted by & filed under Costs, Design, Sustainability.

The pressure to deliver a cost effective drainage installation with minimum environmental impact has never been greater, but despite this, some Bedding Designpipelines are still fully surrounded in expensive imported granular bedding when a more considered approach to the design and selection of the pipe material could result in the use of a less costly, lower carbon installation.


There are various classes of bedding, providing varying degrees of support for the pipe. What is required will depend upon the material of the pipe, the surface load (traffic, weight of the ground and any overlaying fill) and the reaction from the ground below to support the pipe.

For structural design purposes pipe materials are classified – in BS 9295: Guide to the Structural Design of Buried Pipelines – as either rigid, semi-rigid or flexible. Concrete and clay pipes are defined as “rigid”; ductile iron and thick-walled steel are all classed as “semi-rigid” while thermoplastic, glass reinforced plastic and thin-walled steel pipes are all classed as “flexible”.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Sustainability.

The practice of carbon accounting for pipeline products and sewerage construction projects is not new, but PAS 2080 introduces something new. In this blog we identify how five carbon accounting principles in PAS 2080 will change the sector’s understanding of embodied carbon.


Many water companies, highway authorities, other drainage infrastructure asset owners and supply chain partners already employ project carbon calculators. However, there are significant differences between these tools. PAS 2080 introduces a structured approach to tackle this inconsistency problem: It also provides clear boundary rules and a framework for whole life carbon accounting based on European standard EN 15978 where carbon claims can be verified and low carbon solutions can be robustly assessed.

PAS 2080 could mark the end of unproven claims for manufacturers of pipeline products. Data sources such as the Bath University ICE database will no longer be the main source of embodied carbon data. For manufacturers, PAS 2080 introduces five main principles which will change how embodied carbon is dealt with: These are

  • Consistency in methodology
  • The ‘Cradle-to-Grave’ approach
  • Data Quality Requirements
  • Third party accreditation
  • Data challenging and re-baselining


Consistent Methodology

PAS 2080 states “Consistent methodologies and data sources for carbon management and assessment are to be used to allow comparisons of emissions over time”. Users are obliged to assess inconsistencies and continuously challenge their suppliers for more accurate and robust data. The standard doesn’t embrace a specific methodology but European standard EN 15978 indicates that the European Commission’s TC350 methodology is probably the route to be taken by any future revision of PAS 2080. This means that the Bath University ICE Database may no longer be an automatically valid option as it compiles carbon values from a wide range of studies that are not aligned to EN 15978 requirements.


Read more »

Posted by & filed under Sustainability.

Published by the Treasury in late 2013 the Infrastructure Carbon Review documented the prospect of infrastructure value chain participants to collaborate in the expansion of low carbon infrastructure developments.


PAS 2080:2016 Carbon management in infrastructure was commissioned to facilitate this into reality. Mott McDonald and Arup developed the standards with support from the Green Construction Board (GCB). Figureheads within the infrastructure sector described the new standard as a ‘game changer’ which will pave the way for ‘consistency of methods and reporting’ across the supply chain.

It is specifically targeted to decision makers (asset owners/managers, designers, constructors and material suppliers) PAS 2080 provides a regular framework on how to manage whole life carbon when delivering infrastructure assets.

Manufacturers should take note that PAS 2080 introduces a new requirement for providing precise carbon data for their products, which ideally is 3rd party accredited. This puts emphasis on the whole life evaluation and through its adoption of boundary defined modular approach, carbon assessments now need to be more inclusive than ‘Bath University ICE database’ assumptions. In order to become a more reliable, representative and transparent format, similar to the one used in standards such as EN 15978 and ISO 21930.

You can also find PAS 2080 is available at the BSI Website for £100 HERE


In 2010 we commissioned Carbon Clear consultancy to consider the performance of precast concrete pipes and manholes with their plastic counterparts. The study concluded that concrete pipes’ carbon footprint was 35% lower than the plastic alternative.

Other links:
Credited to: Hafiz Elhag, Sustainability Manager, British Precast

Posted by & filed under Sustainability.

In 2015 the planning regulations in England and Wales were amended to ‘expect’ Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) to be included in all new housing developments of 10 or more homes.

SuDS is about dealing with rain where it falls, this is in contrast to conventional drainage solutions which carry run-off from a development to an outfall as quickly as possible.suds-article-2

To deal with the surface water where it falls clients, designers and installers have the option of using hard and soft SuDS solutions. Hard SuDS include proprietary engineered products installed underground such as precast concrete soakaways, attenuation tanks and treatment chambers whereas soft SuDS are generally landscaped, vegetated features such as swales and detention ponds.

Soft SuDS are a useful starting point when considering design options because they can provide amenity to a development. The downside is that vegetated features often require larger areas of land, land that could otherwise have been used for development. By contrast, proprietary solutions such as precast concrete underground systems help ameliorate run-off without using valuable land. A balance of both hard and soft SuDS components is often the most appropriate and cost effective sustainable drainage solution.

Hard SuDS solutions can help developers manage surface water run-off without using up valuable development land explains Stuart Crisp, Business Development Director at the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association (CPSA).

To help introduce customers to sustainable drainage principles and precast concrete SuDS components, the CPSA has produced an accredited, free CPD seminar entitled Surface Water Management using Proprietary Precast Concrete SuDS systems.

For further information please visit the CPSA’s page on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems


Posted by & filed under Costs, Health & Safety.

The Concrete Pipe Lifter is a safer way to offload, handle and install pipes whilst simultaneously speeding up operations and reducing costsYou simply attach it to your excavator using the quickhitch coupling. The Pipe Lifter has no slings or chains that hands could get trapped in, and requires no additional power requirements or hydraulic links. By removing people from the process, the risk of harm is eliminated. Nobody is needed on the vehicle during offloading and nobody is needed in the pipe trench during jointing. We’ve published a factsheet on the risks of manual handling in accordance with HSE’s best practices. It concludes that pipes of any material DN300 and over should be mechanically lifted.

Download Concrete Pipe Lifter brochure.

View Pipe Lifter videos.

Posted by & filed under eNewsletters & eBlasts.

Welcome to the Spring / Summer 2016 issue of Pipelines, your eNewsletter from the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association.

Concrete has been a high performance, long-lasting material of choice for drainage engineers for over 150 years. Its durability is not in question but the benefits of a strong, heavy and rigid material in use can be overlooked. Our newly-launched Heavyweight Champion of the Drainage World campaign aims to remind you of the specific attributes of concrete that contribute to world class drainage systems. In this issue of Pipelines we outline the arguments behind our Heavyweight campaign, offer you the opportunity to participate in our competition and highlight recent innovations that enhance the use of concrete drainage in modern construction sites. I hope you find the issue enlightening.

Stuart Crisp, Director, CPSA

Concrete, Heavyweight Drainage Champion

Modern drainage asks a lot of its materials. You need a system that’s totally reliable, easy to install, cost-effective, sustainable and compliant with all the relevant standards. It’s no job for a lightweight. That’s why concrete is still the UK’s best choice for sewerage systems. Concrete offers strong, stable, sustainable performance backed by over 150 years of proven success. Download our Concrete Heavyweight Champion brochure to see the arguments.

Win tickets to Fury Vs Klitschko in the CPSA Heavyweight Champion competition

To check out concrete’s championship claims, download the brochure and enter a competition to win tickets to the Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko World Heavyweight title rematch at the Manchester Arena on 9th July.

Awards recognition for Innovations from the concrete pipeline sector

Innovations championed by the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association have been shortlisted in two categories of the Ground Engineering Awards, being presented on 30 June. The Concrete Pipe Lifter, designed to make offloading and installation safer and faster, is a finalist in the Health and Safety category, plus the Circular Precast Manhole Base System, designed to use less concrete than a formed in-situ solution whilst saving time and money during construction, is shortlisted in the Sustainability category. Welcome recognition for some serious innovation.

Choosing concrete : twenty reasons why

In case any reminder is necessary, CPSA has published a guide: 20 reasons to use concrete. Ranging from cost efficiency to watertightness the brochure considers how the inherent characteristics of the material contribute to stable, long-lasting high performance. It’s an excellent summary of the reasons that concrete continues to make a make a major contribution to drainage systems around the world. Download here

High pressure resilience to blockage removal

High pressure water jetting is a common practice to clear blockages in drains and sewers and to help maintain hydraulic efficiency of the system. It is not an uncontroversial practice as the high pressures required can damage some pipeline materials. A CPSA factsheet looks at jetting pressures set out in the Sewer Jetting Code of Practice, together with the standards required by various water authorities and considers how different pipe materials are likely to cope with the pressure. Download here or refer to blog post here

Concrete pipes and reduced imported bedding – a cost effective combination

An effective underground pipeline system consists of the pipe in combination with backfill and embedment material and its interaction with the surrounding soil. The choice of bedding material will depend both upon the ground conditions and the pipe material. Concrete, being a rigid material with inherent strength, often allows for a greater range of bedding design choices, with the potential to introduce significant cost savings. The CPSA factsheet on bedding choice outlines the technical considerations around the choice of pipeline and bedding material. Download here or refer blog post here

Inertia and its importance for buried sewer infrastructure

Heavyweight concrete provides lots of inertia, without which buried pipes and other drainage infrastructure can be more easily dislodged from their intended position, both during and after installation. Jointing force during installation and compaction of bedding material around a pipe can potentially destabilize its position, while a high water table or an episode of flooding can displace lightweight pipes with low inertia. Our blog post explains

Limiting deformation essential for quality pipelines

It is vitally important that users understand the differences between flexible pipes such as plastic and rigid pipes such as concrete and to appreciate how these materials perform in terms of structural integrity and hydraulic efficiency. Our recent blog post directs readers to recent research and case studies on the impact of using a flexible pipe material on the integrity of the installed system.

Heavyweight Champion – the headlines explained

Concrete pipeline systems have been part of the backbone to the UK’s sewerage network for over 150 years for good reason. The inherent strength of precast concrete products, their durability and their availability in a wide choice of sizes and cross-sectional shapes has made them a favourite choice. Our recent blog adds some of the detail behind the headlines in our Heavyweight campaign.

Keep in touch on
Social Media…

TwitterFacebookLinked InLinked In

…And stay informed with our blog


CPSA currently offers industry professionals the choice of four accredited CPD presentations. These presentations have also received the approval of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and are recognised as CIWEM Accredited Short Courses. All the presentations can be offered as a free seminar at your local office or at a suitable location. CPD certificates are available to all attendees.


Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Concrete pipeline systems have been part of the backbone to the UK’s sewerage network for over 150 years for good reason. The inherent strength of precast concrete products, their durability and their availability in a wide choice of sizes and cross-sectional shapes has made them a favourite choice. This blog adds some of the detail behind the headlines in our Heavyweight campaign.

The reasons concrete products were selected for use in drainage systems over a century ago are as valid now as they were then. But in today’s competitive drainage market the lower installed cost and whole life cost benefits resulting from their long service life coupled with excellent environmental credentials is ensuring precast concrete drainage products are still in favour with today’s engineers, contractors and asset owners.

Installed cost savings can be significant. For example, because concrete pipes are structural elements they can often be laid without the need for a full granular bedding surround. This may also save on installation time. It also means the quantity of imported granular material can be kept to a minimum while providing the opportunity to reuse excavated material, saving on disposal costs. And, once placed in the pipe trench, the inherent weight of concrete products ensures that they offer a natural resistance to flotation.

Despite the heavy weight of concrete pipes, using the award-winning pipe lifter can make unloading pipes from the delivery vehicle and the installation process up to half the time of traditional methods and, most importantly, safe as no-one is required on the vehicle or in the trench during the operation.

In addition to saving money, the inherent strength of concrete pipes makes them the preferred choice where loads from traffic running over the buried pipeline are significant. Their strength also makes them the preferred choice for deep installations where greater ground loads are imposed on a pipe.

Once installed the advantage of concrete pipeline products is immediately apparent. They do not deform or lose shape over their service life which ensures their hydraulic efficiency and structural integrity is maintained. They are also more resilient to damage from maintenance using high-pressure water jetting compared to many lightweight systems.

Concrete pipes also offer some major advantages when it comes to environmental sustainability; for example they are made from responsibly sourced local materials. In fact, a study by the CPSA and Carbon Clear demonstrated that a DN2100 concrete pipe has up to 35% lower embodied carbon on a like-for-like Class S cradle to site basis compared to the same size HDPE pipe.

Modern drainage asks for so much from its materials that it is clear that this is not a job for a lightweight. What is needed is Concrete, the Heavyweight Champion of the Drainage World.