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Design of Pressure Pipes -NEW

1.4 CEUs | Monday–Tuesday, September 26–27

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Mark Peterson, P.E.

Purpose and Background

Design of pressure pipes for water systems and force mains requires careful selection of the appropriate material. Not all pipe materials are acceptable for all systems. This course will provide guidance on the materials commonly used for pressure systems including PVC, ductile iron, HDPE, and steel. It will also cover evaluation of transients (water hammer) and design of appropriate joint restraints to resist thrust forces at fittings.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, you will:

  • Understand the advantages and disadvantage of the common material options for pressure pipes, including PVC, ductile iron, HDPE, and steel
  • Understand how pressure ratings are determined for the various materials
  • Understand the forces in pressure pipes and at bends and other fittings, including working pressure and transient (water hammer) forces
  • Understand how transients are calculated and modeled
  • Understand how transients can be limited by design, operation, and various devices
  • Understand how thrust blocks and restrained joints resist the thrust forces
  • Be able to size thrust blocks and restrained joint lengths

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed through class discussion and a short post-test (true-false, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions).

Who should attend?

This course is for anyone involved in the design or review of systems where pressure pipes are used, including water systems and sanitary and storm sewer force mains.

This course is intended for design engineers, system managers, and regulatory officials.


Day one

  • Specifications, material properties, and pressure ratings for DI, PVC, HDPE, and steel pipes
  • Joint options for pressure pipes and when to use each one
  • Friction factors and nominal vs. actual diameters
  • Minimum and maximum cover for pipes
  • Causes of transients

Day two

  • Speed of transient wave and magnitude of pressures
  • Responses of different pipe materials to transients and mitigation of transients
  • Soil parameters for thrust restraint
  • Sizing thrust blocks
  • Calculation of thrust restraint lengths
  • Devices for restraining various pipe options

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