The Ultimate Guide to Reinforced Concrete Pipes

The Ultimate Guide To Reinforced Concrete Pipes

Reinforced Concrete Pipes are one of our most popular products. Used primarily for stormwater drainage, Reinforced Concrete Pipes are a key building block in almost any subdivision, roadway or major infrastructure project. Before ordering, it’s important to understand different pipe types, sizes and configurations, to ensure you get the right product for the right job. As one of our most popular products, we are tried and true experts in Reinforced Concrete Pipe. Let us share our knowledge with you in this ultimate guide to Reinforced Concrete Pipes!

What is a Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP)?

A Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP) is a type of piping made from precast concrete, reinforced with steel rebar for added strength and durability. Available in an array of sizes, ranging from 300mm to 2100mm in diameter, Reinforced Concrete Pipes are used to direct the flow of stormwater runoff (and other liquids) beneath the surface of the earth. Most commonly used as in stormwater or sewer settings, RCP can also be used for large-scale irrigation projects, as culverts or in a range of other pipeline projects.

Why Reinforced Concrete Pipes?

Reinforced Concrete Pipe is the most common and most trusted product for pipelines and water transportation projects. It has been used for centuries in this role, alternatives have sprung up more recently that have caused some debate over which product is best.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes are made from high-grade, strength-tested plastic material and has been used in stormwater settings in recent times. HDPE pipes are considered to be a low-cost alternative to RCP given their price point at purchase. Given the additional costs involved in on-site installation however, including structural integrity tests, engineered backfill, on-site inspections and post-installation laser testing, total cost for HDPE pipes quickly adds up. 

In addition to price, Reinforced Concrete Pipe has been trusted for centuries and has a proven 100-year lifespan. This reduces the need for infrastructure rehabilitation projects, further reducing the ongoing costs of choosing RCP. HDPE pipe is a much more recent product that simply does not have the raw data available to guarantee lifespan claims.

RCP Joint Configurations

There are three main types of joint configurations for reinforced concrete pipe; Flush Joint, Spigot-to-Spigot and Rubber Ring Joint. Typically, Flush Joint pipes are used for heavy-duty stormwater applications, Rubber Ring Joints are used for irrigation, and Spigot-to-Spigot pipes are used at the end of pipelines, to be installed into a precast concrete headwall.

Precast Concrete Classifications

Reinforced Concrete Pipe can be offered in a variety of “classes”. When discussing precast concrete, “class” refers to the finish of the concrete. Class 1 concrete is highest standard with the most rigorous specification and is only recommended for use in very special features of buildings of a monumental nature. When it comes to underground piping, where visual quality is unimportant, Class 1 finish is not required and is generally not offered.

Civilmart offer Reinforced Concrete Pipe in Classes 2, 3 & 4. This allows customers the choice and flexibility of having lower class finishes on purely underground piping, while having higher class finishes on piping that is above-ground or in general view.

Why Choose Civilmart?

Civilmart have been creating reinforced concrete pipe for over 70 years. That’s 70 years of experience creating some of Australia’s highest-quality precast concrete, helping to build Australia as it is today. Our range of Reinforced Concrete Pipes is unmatched in size, joint and class options, so get in touch with our team of experts today!

What Is A Box Culvert? What Are They Used for?

You’ve likely seen Precast Concrete Box Culverts when driving past any number of infrastructure products, be it a subdivision, major road/rail project or even out in bushland. They’re one of the most popular products we manufacture at Civilmart, and for good reason; Precast Box Culverts have a multitude of uses. Let’s find out a little more about how Civilmart Box Culverts can be used.

What are the Different Types of Box Culverts?

Box Culverts can be broken divided by two key factors; size and orientation.

Civilmart produce Precast Concrete Box Culverts in two size categories; small and large. Small Box Culverts are defined as having a span of 1200mm or below, whereas Large Box Culverts typically have a span of 1500mm and above. Civilmart produce a range of standard-sized Box Culverts in both size categories, but can also custom-manufacture Box Culverts in any size required, specific to each customer’s needs.

Precast Box Culverts are also produced in two different orientations; Crown and Inverted. The regular style of Box Culverts (called a Crown unit) is n-shaped, while Inverted units are U-shaped troughs and can be supplied with lids.

Box Culvert Uses

Box Culverts are a versatile product, and as such have a variety of useful applications, including:

Box Culverts are commonly used for bridging purposes, allowing roads, railways and tracks to be built while maintaining waterways underneath. Civilmart Box Culverts are made to AS1597:2010 standards and comply with state road regulations. 

Stock and Wildlife Crossings
Box Culverts can also be used to provide crossings over creeks and streams, allowing both stock and wildlife to cross at will. Civilmart Box Culverts can be used by rural buyers for farm use, or even in State and National Parks.

Drainage Structures
Precast Box Culverts are also ideal for use in drainage structures, allowing stormwater drainage routes to successfully flow and prevent flooding.

Ducting for Industrial Use
Box Culverts have also been regularly used to house electrical cables or as steam, air or water ducts in a variety of industrial applications. In certain instances, Box Culverts can also be used as emergency escape routes.  

Box Culvert Installation

Civilmart Box Culverts are designed to be installed with ease, requiring very little excavation to place and a minimal amount of backfill. Civilmart Box Culverts are supplied with lifting anchors to make lifting and placing both easy and precise. Box Culverts are often coupled with Precast Headwalls, that sit at the ends of a culvert and prevent land collapse.

Why Civilmart?

Civilmart Box Culverts are made from the highest quality precast concrete and can be custom-designed and manufactured to suit your specific project’s needs. If you’ve got a project and you need a Box Culvert, there’s only one option. Get in touch today!


How to Install a Stormwater Pit

Stormwater Pits are a fundamental component of any stormwater infrastructure project, and are one of the most common items produced by Civilmart today. High-quality, durable and reliable Stormwater Pits are essential to ensuring the stormwater infrastructure in any city, town or rural area will stand the test of time. Despite their commonality, many people are still unsure exactly what Stormwater Pits are used for, or how to install a Precast Stormwater Pit. Let’s dive in and find out exactly how Precast Stormwater Pits work, and the installation process behind them.

What is a Stormwater Pit?

A Stormwater Pit is a water collection and storage device that holds all the runoff stormwater before it is diverted through attached Reinforced Concrete Pipes. They’re designed to cope with large amounts of stormwater runoff to prevent flooding, while the pipes attached drain the water away. Stormwater Pits are made of precast concrete, and come standard with “knockouts” – holes in the walls of the to install pipes.

How do Stormwater Pits Work?

When it rains in a natural environment, stormwater is absorbed into the earth. In urban areas and on man-made surfaces however, stormwater is unable to be absorbed. This creates what’s known as stormwater runoff. Without proper management of stormwater runoff, the risk of flooding is increased, as is the chance of contamination of local waterways. Stormwater Pits are key to ensuring stormwater runoff is captured and diverted appropriately. Stormwater Pits are placed strategically to collect stormwater runoff and contain the flow, as the pipes attached divert the water away.

Types of Stormwater Pits

There are a variety of different styles of Stormwater Pits, all specially designed for a specific job. Types of Stormwater Pit include:

Precast Knockout Pits

Precast Knockout Pits are the standard Stormwater Pit. These pits feature “knockouts” for easy installation of Reinforced Concrete Pipes. The knockout areas on the pit are thinner, and are able to be broken open with a hammer as necessary. Precast Knockout Pits are one of our most common items, as they are used in a wide variety of civil infrastructure and stormwater projects.

GRC Stormwater Pits

Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) pits serve as a lightweight, easy-to-install alternative to traditional precast pits for smaller scale uses. They’re made from a concrete and glass fibre composite, and are designed (in most cases) to be lifted by one or two people, making them easy to move and install on-site. As GRC products are manufactured without steel reinforcement, it is also ideal for installation in areas normally prone to corrosion.

Side Entry Pits

Side Entry Pits are built into the roadside to collect stormwater runoff from street gutters. Side Entry Pits are commonly seen in residential and urban areas, built into the kerb to collect stormwater runoff from roads. Civilmart Side Entry Pits are supplied in Class C and can come as a Double Top Unit for easier installation.

Custom Stormwater Pits

Civilmart are able to custom-design and manufacture stormwater pits to suit almost any individual project. Unique penetrations, wall thicknesses, exposure classifications and more can all be customised to suit a specific job. Civilmart are experts in creating custom products that fit our clients’ needs perfectly, get in touch with our friendly team today for more information on our custom capabilities.

How to Install a Stormwater Pit

A typical installation of a Stormwater Pit follows these basic steps:

  1. Check that the foundation and bedding material is undisturbed and ready for installation.
  2. Prepare the stormwater pit for lifting via lifting clutches. Ensure the pit is not susceptible to striking any other objects.
  3. Lift the stormwater pit into position, guiding it onto the downstream pipe. Lift the pipe slightly to enable the joint to be made before the base touches the bedding. Ensure the end of the pipe stops slightly short of the benching inside the base. Check that there is enough clearance underneath the pipe to apply sealant.
  4. Ensure that the pit is sitting level. Use a spirit level to check, placed on top of the rim. Also check the downstream and upstream invert levels are in accordance with the design.
  5. For modular pits with knockout sections, mark the size and location of the pipe on the thin knockout section of the pit wall. Use a proper tool (like a ball peen hammer) to slowly and gently break the pit wall. Use a small sledge hammer to make the initial break in the centre of the knockout.