Top tips for installing a culvert pipe

Top tips for installing a culvert pipe

If you’re thinking of installing a culvert pipe across a watercourse to enable a vehicle to safely drive across it, here’s some useful tips on the things you should consider.

What is a culvert pipe?

A culvert is an economical and effective way of passing a running water course under a physical obstacle such as a roadway, railway, hill or even a canal. Often culverts are created in existing watercourses to allow passage over it. A typical example of a culvert is where a section of a farm ditch is piped and filled over to allow passage of farm machinery from one field to the next without having to fold up and use the public highway.

Culvert pipes are made of concrete, HDPE or steel. HDPE (Plastic) offers significant benefits over concrete and steel as it is much lighter and easier to transport and install than concrete and more corrosion resistant than steel. We supply culvert piping from 450mm to 3000mm diameters in any lengths.

Top tips on installing a culvert

Once you have chosen the position for your culvert construction, firstly clean out the watercourse with an excavator to a suitable depth and shape to receive a suitably large culvert pipe that will cope with maximum winter flows without causing a back up and flooding issue upstream. In some instances it is beneficial to divert the watercourse by way of a temporary ditch so that you are able to work in dry conditions and allow the use of concrete if necessary.

Next, you need to create a suitable foundation for the culvert. Once this is completed, you then need to lay the pipe central to the watercourse, in true line with it and at roughly the same fall as the watercourse itself.

Once happy with the height, position and line of the culvert, stabilise the pipe with timber props whilst you backfill around it with suitably selected material or concrete. Your will need to construct a headwall either end of the pipe either by shuttering and pouring concrete, building concrete blocks or brickwork or using traditional methods such as ballast and cement filled hessian sacks stacked around the pipe.

Once you have completed the backfill and cover and allowed enough time for cementitious materials to cure your culvert is ready for the water to flow through and your equipment to pass over the top.

For help and advice on culverts, call us on 0121 351 3230

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