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You Should Know Bulletins


These are the American Concrete Pipe Association Competitive Response System "You Should Know" Bulletins.

Bulletin #142 "HDPE Pipe Service Life - Facts and Conclusions”
October 2007 -- 2 Pages
The Plastic Pipe Institute recently published information claiming that high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe has a service life of 2,893 years at 5% deflection. This document explains the relevant facts regarding such a prediction.

Bulletin #141 "Rulemaking for SAFETEA-LU Section 5514"
December, 2006 -- 2 Pages
The FHWA has issued its "Rulemaking" concerning culvert pipe in SAFETEA-LU. The new ruling now states that State DOTs should be considering all available pipe products that are judged to be of satisfactory quality and equally acceptable on the basis of engineering and economic analyses. Where such products appear to be equal, alternative bidding practices must be used as required by the Federal Code. Where alternative products are determined to have different engineering and economic properties, contracting agencies may select a specific material or product based on the required engineering properties and/or life cycle cost criteria. In such cases, the State DOT should document its material selection decision on a project or program basis as appropriate.

Bulletin #140 "Should Laser Video Inspection Be Required?" Find out More
September, 2006 -- 2 Pages
New technology is making it easier for contractors, municipalities, and consulting engineers to determine internal pipeline conditions after the initial installation. The Laser Profiler is a stand-alone, snap-on tool for use with a closed circuit television video (CCTV) survey system to collect survey data and create pipeline reports using innovative machine vision software to obtain the measurements of faults and features inside the pipeline. See the results of the inspections on the Kentucky and Ohio Department of Transportation projects after using this equipment.

Bulletin #139 "Defending the Right to Choose Concrete Pipe: ADS vs. Portland"
February, 2006 -- 2 Pages
Every public works engineer knows the pressure vendors can exert on a city to approve its products for public works. For more than 15 years, Advanced Drainage Systems ("ADS"), a manufacturer of corrugated high density polyethylene pipe ("HDPE"), pressured the City of Portland, Oregon to approve its pipe for city projects. Throughout that time, the city repeatedly defended its choice of reinforced concrete pipe, citing concerns about the structural integrity and lifespan of HDPE as compared to concrete. In 2004, ADS took an unprecedented step, and sued the city in order to force the approval of HDPE. In 2005, ADS appealed and lost again. The city successfully defended its engineers' right to choose—and it chose reinforced concrete pipe.

Bulletin #138 "Don't get caught in failure! Calculate 'E'"
April, 2006 -- 2 Pages
For years the engineering community has used oversimplified fill height tables when designing drainage pipe. Taking E' values from the design guides or simple consensus standards of the pipe vendor should be avoided. If you have never worked with E' values before, consult an expert!

Bulletin #137 "OSHA Supports ACPA's Claim Regarding Trench Boxes"
December, 2005 -- 1 Page
OSHA supports ACPA's claims that there is a conflict between the OSHA regulations and ASTM D 2321 Standard Practice for Underground Installation of Thermoplastic Pipe for Sewers and Other Gravity-Flow Applications regarding the use of trench boxes. Following safety regulations is most important, since trenching is generally recognized as one of the most hazardous operations in the construction industry.

Bulletin #136 "Trend Toward Deflection Testing Plastic Pipe Installations "
October, 2005 -- 2 Pages
For years, HDPE pipe manufacturers have been telling the engineering community that “generally, no post construction inspection is necessary” or “mandrels should be considered a last resort to evaluating the installation.

Bulletin #134 "What Positive Lessons can be Learned from an HDPE Fire?"
June, 2005 -- 2 Pages
A fire in a 42" HDPE storm drain turned out to be both frightening and costly to Herriman City, a growing community in Utah.

Bulletin #132 "OSHA To Get Tough On Trenching Regulation Enforcement"
November, 2004 -- 2 Pages
OSHA is expected to place additional emphasis on enforcing its current regulations as a result of increased trenching-related fatalities.

Bulletin #130 "Leaky Pipe Causes State of Emergency"
October, 2003 -- 2 Pages
A recent pipe failure has resulted in major property damage and the declaration of a state of emergency for a community in Wisconsin.

Bulletin #129 "Taking Responsibility"
August, 2003 -- 1 Page
The case of Ridge Line, Inc. vs. Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) in the U.S. District Court of West Virginia is a good example of what the limitations are for HDPE drainage pipe, and how problems resulting from these limitations are addressed when brought to the attention of the HDPE pipe manufacturer.

Bulletin #128 "A Case in Point"
August, 2003 -- 2 Pages
Reinforced concrete pipe has a proven performance history. It has provided, and continues to provide, a reliable structure for the conveyance of effluent in a variety of conditions. HDPE pipe has a proven performance history as well. It has proven to be insufficient to handle the design and installation requirements that most owners, engineers, and contractors have come to expect from concrete pipe. Time and again individuals who have specified and installed HDPE pipe have come back and inspected the pipe later only to find the installation not meeting expectations. What happens then?

Bulletin #127 "Which Should You Believe?" -- Sworn Testimony vs. Paid Advertisement
July, 2003 -- 1 Page
Dr. Hazen’s testimony clearly points out that high-density polyethylene pipe is not “made the same way, all the time.” There have been at least four significant changes in the manufacturing specification for N-12 pipe within the past seven years – that we know of!

Bulletin #126 "Engineers Beware!! Protect Your Right to Choose"
May, 2003 -- 1 Page
The Missouri State Legislature recently helped preserve free enterprise by removing a last-minute amendment to a pending bill that would require HDPE storm sewer pipe as an alternative on all state stormwater projects. The provision was mysteriously added to a proposed piece of legislation (HB 327) just days before the Missouri legislature intended to vote on the bill. The provision would require polyethylene pipe as one of two piping materials on all state and local stormwater projects. The requirement was not included in the original version of HB 327, but somehow surfaced in the final version of the bill.

Bulletin 124 "Questionable Recommendations Based on Study Findings"
December, 2002 -- 2 pages
In December 2000, a study on the “Performance Evaluation of Existing High-Density Polyethylene Pipe (HDPE)”, sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration was submitted by the University of South Carolina’s (USC) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. After reviewing the authors’ findings and recommendations, this “You Should Know” would probably be more correct as “Does Anyone Know?”

Bulletin 122 "World's Largest Corrugated Steel Arch Collapses on Alaska Highway"
August, 2002 - 2 pages
"Largest structure of its kind in the world." "The mother of all potholes." How about "largest collapse"? Luckily this failure occurred during daylight hours or the results could have been tragic. The cause of the failure is still being investigated but we know that a tender for a new concrete bridge to replaced the failed structure was accepted at $1.88 million. Read about the effects that a catastrophic failure can have on the community, residents and traveling public.

Bulletin 119 "Fire in Storm Sewers is Not Unusual - Which Pipe Should You Choose?"
October, 2001 - 2 pages
When selecting pipe materials, the design engineer and owner should consider the durability of the system. Durability can also be determined from the ability of the pipe to resist fire. Flammability of buried pipelines and culverts is a serious issue. In addition to excellent case histories, this bulletin discusses the risk and liability that is inherent when one chooses flammable pipe.

Bulletin 118 "CMP Failure Closes Canada's Busiest Highway; Confirms Need for Life Cycle Analysis"
June, 2001 - 2 pages
One of North America's busiest roads was closed on August 9, 2000 when a corrugated steel pipe failed under Highway 401 just outside of Toronto, Ontario. The failure resulted in a sinkhole that cause major delays for motorists traveling to Toronto. Similar CSP failures abound throughout North America. This bulletin highlights some of most significant occurrences and discusses service life of CSP versus reinforced concrete pipe, as well as the need to conduct Life Cycle Analysis based on the project design life.

Bulletin 117 - "DOT's Take Action Regarding Flexible Pipe"
December, 1999 - 2 pages
This You Should Know bulletin provides information on recent actions taken by certain State Departments of Transportation regarding the acceptance, specification and use of flexible pipe products, including HDPE, PVC and CMP. The bulletin contains information on actions by the sates of Texas, Florida and Illinois. Many other State DOT's have also taken action or are currently considering actions. The evidence suggests that State DOT's are becoming more concerned about the continued use of flexible pipe products under roadways and other applications.

Bulletin 114 - "County Counts on Concrete When Metal Pipes Fail"
November, 1997 – 4 pages
DeKalb County – Thirty years ago, when DeKalb County, Georgia engineers included metal pipe in their stormwater sewer designs, they probably thought the system would last indefinitely. Unfortunately, the lines running throughout the county have begun to reach the end of their 30-year service lives, causing the current engineers to scramble to repair the crumbling piping. The corrugated metal pipes were used extensively during the region’s building boom of the 1960s but now are rusted and collapsing, according to a story published in the Decatur-DeKalb News Era.

Bulletin 112 - "Industry Experts Call for Stress Testing for HDPE Pipe Materials"
December, 1997 – 32 pages
Last fall, as a service to our members, the American Concrete Pipe Association made available copies of the Fall 1996 issue of Uni-Bell PVC Pipe News. This issue contained important information and observations concerning cracking and buckling problems involved with some corrugated HDPE pipes. One of the most publicized installations involved a deep-fill project in Pennsylvania. This bulletin contains additional "food for thought" as well as numerous examples an attachments.

Bulletin 106 - "Uni-Bell Comments On Pennsylvania Corrugated HDPE Pipe Study"
September, 1996 – 1 page
The Fall 1996 issue of Uni-Bell PVC Pipe News contains important information and observations concerning cracking and buckling problems involved with a corrugated HDPE installation in Pennsylvania. As a service to its members, the American Concrete Pipe Association is disseminating copies of the Fall 1996 issue of Uni-Bell PVC Pipe News.

Bulletin 103 - "Microtunneling and RCP Keep Ontario Wetlands Intact"
July, 1996 – 1 page
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario — A microtunneling project employing concrete pipe recently demonstrated that even projects burdened with environmental controversies can be overcome using the right methods and materials.

Bulletin 101 - "The Truth Behind the Greenbook Acceptance of HDPE Specifications"
March, 1996 – 7 pages
Last fall the American Public Works Association’s Joint Cooperative Committee, which publishes the Greenbook, accepted specifications for HDPE pipe. There has been much discussion about why the Greenbook reached that decision. Meanwhile HDPE manufacturers have used this acceptance in their promotional campaigns.