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Use sand around buried pipes: This article describes the use of sand around a sewer pipe during backfill when a sewer pipe or "drain line" is replaced.
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Use of sand to bed the new drain piping: why & how - specifications for bedding sewer piping in sand in trenches
What is the Proper Material for Bedding Buried Sewer or Water Pipes?
Sewer lines in sand, possibly in pea gravel: Our contractor for the sewer line replacement project documented in this article used clean sand for bedding the new sewer piping. Sand was specified by our local building department. Some local codes permit and some contractors like to use pea gravel for plastic sewer line protection, asserting that pea gravel settles less than sand in the pipe trench.
However water supply piping must be bedded in clean sand. Where copper water supply pipes have been buried in gravel contractors find that over time the gravel, perhaps moving by frost or water passage through the soil, actually works against the metal water piping to create multiple holes and leaks in the water main.
One of our consultants, George from Jeneral Sewer Service reported that on excavating a water supply line with poor water pressure, he found that the entire length of the copper water pipe had multiple perforations - "When we dug it up and turned on water pressure at the curb box the water line looked like a sprinkler hose!" he said.
Where plastic water supply piping is used the risk of gravel perforation from the backfill material is little or none unless the excavator permits a large or sharp stone to become buried close to the piping. .
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