ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Pipe Installation

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Good construction practices are critical in the proper installation of pipes. If good construction practices are not implemented, it may introduce deficiencies that can increase the potential of dam failure. Two components that are important to consider during construction are the bedding configuration and the pipe grade.


For a concrete encased bedding configuration, the embankment is first excavated to create a large trench through the dam. Fill is then placed and compacted in the bottom of this large trench with heavy duty compaction equipment to the springline of the conduit. A small trapezoidal trench is then cut into the compacted fill. The pipe is placed on supports in this trench and the trench is filled with high-slump concrete to encase the bottom of the pipe. A low-slump concrete is then placed over the pipe to complete the encasement.

Pipe Grade

Improper pipe grade can cause water to pond in conduits, which may accelerate the deterioration of a pipe.

Note: The content on this page was originally created as part of (DOWL, 2018). It has subsequently been updated and reformatted as part of the Dam Safety Toolbox.
Revision ID: 4764
Revision Date: 12/02/2022