Civils and Utilities

Plastic piping systems are widely used for the transport of water, wastewater, surface water run-off and gas. Applications encompass drainage from domestic properties, water and gas supply, right up to large scale infrastructure and industrial projects. 

Guidance Documents:

Technical Guidance
Selection and installation of plastic inspection chambers for underground drain and sewer systems
Connecting pipes to manholes,chambers and other structures
Effective cleaning of drains and sewers
Lifetime of polyethylene pipelines under pressure
The effect of sunlight on the physical properties of PVC-U pipes
Dealing with longitudinal forces in a polyethylene pipeline under pressure
Butt fusion jointing of polyethylene pressure pipes
Polyethylene pipes for below ground water applications in brownfield sites
Branch connections for water and gas mains
Guide to designing geocellular systems to CIRIA report C737
Designing drains and sewers for brownfield sites
Quality assurance with electrofusion
Specification Guidance
Guide to leaktightness testing of gravity drains and sewers
Specifications for plastic drainage and service ducts in highways
Specifications for plastic pipes, chambers, manholes and covers for drainage and sewerage applications v3
A guide to the selection and installation of covers for manholes and inspection chambers - BS 7903: 2020
A guide to structural design of buried pipes - BS 9295:2020
Designing geocellular drainage systems - a practical approach
Recycled bedding and surround for gravity drains and sewers v2
Joining of polyethylene pressure pipes for below ground water applications
Specifications for polyethylene pipe and fittings for water supply, drainage and sewerage under pressure v3
Specifications for PVC pipes and fittings for water supply, drainage and sewerage under pressure v2
Joining of polyethylene pressure pipes for below ground gas applications
Guidance on specifications for pipes and fittings for industrial systems


Plastics offer many benefits for the construction of new pipelines, storage and attenuation of surface water, rehabilitation of old drains and sewers, and access facilities such as chambers and manholes for maintenance of pipelines.

The inherent properties of plastics are used to provide corrosion resistant, flexible and fully weldable piping systems for gas and water supply. Polyethylene pipes up to 1.2 metres in diameter reliably transport drinking water every day, maintaining water quality right to the customer. The long service life (in excess of 100 years), tolerance to external forces such as traffic loading and ground movement, together with ease of handling and robustness on site add up to a trusted material for civils and infrastructure projects.

Plastics have a lower carbon footprint through their whole life cycle than other materials for pipes. When they reach their end of life as water and sewer pipe systems, they can be recycled meaning they have an important role to play in contributing to the circular economy. 

With more incidents of flooding taking place worldwide, having a robust infrastructure system is essential, which means being able to manage surface water more efficiently than ever before. Infiltration units, attenuation tanks and SuDS systems are increasingly playing their part in addressing the problems associated with rising rainfall levels and run-off from newly developed sites.