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Question DetailsAsked on 11/29/2014

best material for water mains in rocky soil

lots of small rocks

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1 Answer


What material you are digging in does not matter - unless you are digging in sand or readily compactible rounded fine gravel, you do not bury the pipe directly in what came out of the ground. The pipe should be bedded in proper compacted pipe bedding material - typically 4-6 inches all around the pipe but up to 12" in some code jurisdictions, as "bedding" and padding for the pipe. Then the first foot or so of fill above that should not contain any large rocks (larger than about 4 inch), so you have no point pressures on the pipe - then refill with native material from there to surface (or to topsoiling grade if lawn) using anything that is not over about half the trench width. And if not compacted all the way to ground surface, you WILL get substantial settlement over the next years - commonly 6-24 inches worth depending on amount of compaction and the gradation of the soil.

Check local building code on bedding material requirements, or if none stated them put the pipeline bedding and compaction requirements for the local city or county in the contract as the specification.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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