Curved Sewers: Yes or No?

by Douglas B. McCartney, (M.ASCE), Sr. Engr.; Neste, Brudin & Stone Inc., Rancho Bernardo, Calif.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 2, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


A study of curved sewer use in Southern California examines sewer design and maintenance of curved versus straight sewers. A telephone survey of personnel in design and maintenance of sewers for municipalities, counties and special sewer districts in Southern California shows a variation in attitudes toward curving alignments. Cleaning and maintenance requirements are most frequently cited as the reason for or against curved sewers. Water jet cleaning machines have made it easier to clean the curved lines than was formerly possible; however, cleaning has proved not to be the only consideration. A number of agencies contacted had standards requiring straight alignments. Many of these agencies have gone back to traditional straight sewers after trying curved ones for a short period. Reasons vary. Cleaning, inspecting and maintaining are more difficult for a curved pipeline than for a straight one, some critics say. The size of the city, county or municipal agency apparently affects how the agency views curved sewers. The larger agencies have more personnel and equipment available, which means they can accommodate some added inconvenience without a noticeable effect. The smaller ones must operate with limited personnel and equipment resources, resulting in emphasis on difficulties encountered. The larger agencies all expressed no particular concern in finding the curving pipes. Some smaller districts no longer allow curves, partly because of the difficulty in finding the curved lines.

Subject Headings: Maintenance | Pipe cleaning | Equipment and machinery | Curvature | Sewers | Light rail transit | Local government | Alignment | California | United States

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search