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Civil and Structural Manual

500 Drainage

537 Component Design Considerations


This section describes some drainage components and tells how they are commonly
used. The standard drawings and forms are located in the Standard Drawings and
Forms section at the end of this manual.

Engineering Form 611


Engineering Form 611 (CIV-EF-611) shows how you can put the components
together to make some standard drainage system building blocks. It is intended to
give you some good starting arrangements; feel free to make changes or develop
other details to suit your needs.
CIV-EF-611 shows bell-and-spigot or plain end-and-hub connections, but similar
details can be easily envisioned for materials that require butt or other types of
joints. Check the actual dimensions of the fittings to be sure the pieces will fit in the
space available and will have adequate cover.
Note that the dimensions of cast iron bell-and-spigot fittings are different from the
dimensions of cast iron butt fittings.

Catch Basins and Drains


Catch basins and drains both serve the same purpose: to let liquid wastes enter the
underground drainage system quickly and safely.
Catch basins (Figure 500-11) contain a chamber where liquid is briefly retained to
aid in settling solids. The chamber is easily accessible for removing the accumulated material. Catch basins are normally built with the inlet opening flush with or
slightly below grade.
Fig. 500-11 Typical Catch Basin

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Runoff from unpaved areas will contain suspended sediment that can clog small
catch basins, so be sure to use adequately sized basins. Experience is the best guide
for size selection.
A drain or drain hub is a simple inlet that has no retention capacity. If it protrudes
above grade, it is called a raised drain hub. If it is below grade, it is called a
recessed drain hub. Raised hubs can receive waste from vessels or pumps while
preventing surface fluids from entering. Details 3 and 4 on CIV-EF-611 show
recessed and raised drain hubs.

Sealed Drain Hubs and Catch Basins


Catch basins and drains can also provide a seal, (sometimes called a gas seal or
liquid seal) that prevents flammable or toxic gases in the downstream piping from
escaping to the atmosphere. Seals also keep heavier-than-air flammable or toxic
vapors from flowing into the system, and they prevent fire from traversing the
drainage system.
Since sealed drains will accumulate solids and are not easy to clean, do not use
them if the liquid will contain solids that might settle out. Instead, use sealed catch
basins with sufficient clearance between the bottom of seal and the bottom of basin
(Dimension E on Drawing GC-S78325).
Detail 8 on CIV-EF-611 shows a sealed drain. Drawing GC-S78325 shows a cast
iron, sealed catch basin. Fabricated steel, sealed catch basins are available (see
Drawing GD-S-99992). Adapters are available to connect the steel catch basin to
non-steel drain lines.

Manholes
Manholes provide access for inspection and cleaning (hydroblast or roto-rooter)
of drain lines, and they act as junction boxes for drains where fittings are not available or are more expensive. Manholes are also a good place to tie in future drain
lines.
If the standing water in sealed manholes is a groundwater pollution concern, then a
double wall manhole with leak monitoring between the walls might be required.
If the water table is high, ensure that the manhole weight exceeds the buoyant force
or anchor the manhole by extending its base beyond its walls.
If your manholes are in traffic areas, design them for wheel loads.
See CIV-EF-411 for typical manhole details.

Manhole Covers
Manholes in systems carrying volatile flammable or toxic liquid should have vaportight covers to prevent the release of gases near ignition sources and people. See
Reference [21] for federal regulations governing emissions from manhole covers.
If samples will be taken from manholes frequently, consider using covers with
sample windows. The sample window shown in Figure 500-12 is not vapor tight.

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Fig. 500-12 Manhole Cover Sample Window

Manhole Vents
You should provide vents to relieve pressure and prevent oxygen depletion in
manholes with vapor-tight covers.

Vents should end a safe distance (usually a minimum of 25 feet horizontally


and downwind if possible) from furnaces or permanent sources of ignition.

Vents should not terminate near walkways, platforms, or air intakes.

Vents within a 10-foot radius of walkways and equipment should end 18 inches
above the highest pipe or piece of equipment and 12 feet or more above walkways.

Vents in VOC or benzene service must be at least 3 feet in length and less than
4 inches in diameter. In addition, vents in benzene service must be controlled.
See Reference [21] for federal regulations on this topic.

Ways to Change Direction, Slope, and Size


At direction, slope, and size changes, you can use either manholes or fittings.
Manholes can be cheaper than large diameter fittings. Find out if local cleaning
contractors equipment can negotiate fittings.
If the pipe joint system is flexible enough to allow misalignment without leaking,
you can make small changes in slope and direction (a few degrees) by using
purposely misaligned joints. Joint manufacturers usually publish limits of flexibility. In areas where groundwater protection is very important, you probably
should not use this technique except as required for small field adjustments.

Access for Cleaning, Inspection, and Repair


Manholes provide better access than cleanouts for inspection and repair, but
cleanouts are just as good for cleaning. Cleanouts are usually cheaper than
manholes unless the cleanouts are built from large diameter fittings. Talk with local

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20. Akan, A. Osman Kinematic-Wave Method for Peak Runoff Estimates, American Society of Civil Engineers, Journal of Transportation Engineering, Vol.
111, No. 4, July, 1985.
Summary: A technical paper that gives several very practical formulas for overland flow time (for use with the Rational Formula.) The paper gives formulas
for plain, flat slopes; flat slopes intercepted by gutters; converging slopes; and
others.
21. 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 60 and 61.
Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources Subpart QQQ, Volatile
Organic Compounds Emissions from Petroleum Refinery Wastewater Systems
(40 CFR 60.692-2), requires all process drains to have water seals and all
junction boxes to be covered. Junction boxes may have a vent pipe, but it must
be at least three feet long, and less than four inches in diameter.
The National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants Subpart FF,
National Emission Standard for Benzene Waste Operations (40 CFR 61.346)
applies to facilities at which the total annual benzene quantity from facility
waste is more than 10 megagrams per year or aqueous waste streams are
treated to a total of 6 megagrams per year of benzene. Process drains subject to
this standard must have water seals, and manholes must have covers that allow
emissions less than 500 ppm above background levels. Junction boxes must be
covered and may have a vent pipe, but it must be at least three feet long, less
than four inches in diameter, and emissions from the vent pipe must be
controlled.
22. Coatings Manual.
23. Corrosion Prevention Manual.
24. Safety In Designs Manual. (SID)
25. Airport Drainage Advisory Circular No. 150/5320-5B. United States Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration, July 1970.
Summary: This circular provides guidance for the design and maintenance of
airport drainage systems. It includes nomographs for flow in open channels
and an equation for calculating overland flow time for use with the Rational
Formula.
26. NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS Hydro-35, 5 to 60 Minute Precipitation
Frequency for the Eastern and Central United States, 1977.
Summary: Gives intensity-duration-frequency information for use with the
Rational Formula. Gives rainfall-frequency values for durations of 5, 15, and
60 minutes at return periods of 2 and 100 years for 37 states from North
Dakota to Texas and eastward. Equations are given to derive 10- and 30-minute
values for return periods between 2 and 100 years.
27. NOAA Atlas 2, Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the Western United States,
Volumes I - XI, 1973.

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