What Causes Pipe Failures?

Buried infrastructure faces a lot of stressors. Envirosight helps pros understand the basics.

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What Causes Pipe Failures?

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Underground environments for infrastructure can be punishing, and many factors can lead to damage and decay.

Surface weight: The weight above a sewer pipe may cause it to collapse. Weight includes the earth above a pipe, in addition to any stress added by traffic passing over a line.

Quality of soil: Depending on soil composition and moisture content, soil can settle or be washed away, removing support from a pipe.

Chemistry: Soil, effluent and pipe material can interact chemically, degrading and corroding the pipe.

Excessive load: Increased water pressure can cause a pipe to burst.

Temperature: Extreme and rapid temperature changes can cause cracks and other damage.

Defects: Cracks, holes, erosion and other flaws can interfere with operation, and can progressively worsen to cause catastrophic failures.

Want to learn more? Sewer Maintenance 101 is the free guide to collections systems you’ve always needed. From causes of pipe failure to inspection technology to regulations, it explains all the fundamentals. And the new second edition includes updated industry standards, more topics and new illustrations. 

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