Posted by & filed under Design.


The Concrete Pipeline Systems Association (CPSA) has published a revised version of its comprehensive Technical Guide on the design and installation of concrete pipeline systems.

This latest edition of this indispensable publication will be essential reading for asset owners, designers and installers of concrete pipeline systems. This version has been updated to include the latest industry specifications and examples of best practice. It has also been completely redesigned and with new illustrations to improve clarity and to make it easier to use.

To help users access information quickly and easily, the Guide has been divided into five sections:

System Design – This includes information on the hydraulic design of surface and foul water drainage systems, an introduction to Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), pipeline structural design and bedding material selection; and the design of manholes.

Installation of pipes in trenches – This includes advice on planning and sequencing operations, handling and storage, excavation and laying, jointing testing and ground reinstatement.

Installation of pipes using pipe jacking – This section includes a description of techniques and equipment and advice on product selection.

Installation of manholes – This incorporates advice on planning, handling and storage, construction, jointing and ground reinstatement.

The final section is a comprehensive list of references and further reading including industry Standards, specifications and references to other useful publications and industry bodies. Concrete pipeline systems are the material of choice for both foul water and surface (or storm) water systems and have been for over a century. With their proven long service life of more than 100 years users can be sure that installation and lifetime costs will be minimal. In addition to being cost effective, concrete pipes are also an environmentally friendly drainage solution, particularly when compared to plastic pipes.

A major advantage of using concrete pipes is that they are suitable for use with a wide range of bedding designs which can lead to substantial installed cost savings, faster installation and a lower environmental impact. Precast concrete’s inherent strength and durability can also help protect a pipeline system throughout its lifetime of operation and extend intervention periods for maintenance and replacement.

The Technical Guide provides essential information from the CPSA to design, install and maintain a concrete pipeline system. The Guide is currently available as a pdf download and includes hyperlinks to specialist information and additional design details.

Download Technical Guide


Sustainable Urban Drainage System

Posted by & filed under Sustainability.

CPSA members offer numerous components suitable for use within a sustainable urban drainage system.

On the CPSA website they are listed in a table indicating their functions within the appropriate Management Train. If you’re looking for specific product information contact the CPSA.

Useful Sustainable Urban Drainage System information:

Sustainable urban drainage systems are a natural method of controlling drainage in and around properties. SuDS work by holding back water that runs off from a site, allowing more natural processes to eliminate pollutants.

Appropriate implementation of sustainable urban drainage systems must deliberate a combination of techniques, supported by traditional drainage techniques. It is fundamental that all stakeholders within the construction of sustainable urban drainage systems consider the significance of the entire life maintenance and the use of suitable components that deliver sustainability and longevity.

To find out more about Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, Contact CPSA today.

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.