HDPE pipeline inspection guidelines published

A new manual for the planning and inspection of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) water pipelines has been created by the Municipal Advisory Board (MAB).  MAB Guidelines for HDPE Pipe Inspection (MAB-06 2020) was recently approved at the 25th meeting of the MAB and published by MAB with assistance from the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI).  

MAB-06 will assist field inspectors who are responsible for the construction of potable water systems and is available along with other MAB publications without charge.  MAB serves as an independent, non-commercial adviser to the Municipal & Industrial Division of the Plastics Pipe Institute.  The MAB consists of municipal water companies/cities staff, college researchers, contractors, professional engineers and designers.

The 45-page MAB-06 manual delineates the steps that should be taken before, during and after a potable waterline is installed.  Additionally, it contains forms and check lists that are easy and quick to fill out for documenting the project and record keeping.

“This guide has been prepared as a service to the industry by MAB members and associates who volunteered their time and expertise,” stated Camille George Rubeiz, P.E., F. ASCE, co-chair, Municipal Advisory Board and senior director of engineering, Municipal and Industrial Division of PPI.

“With the growing use of PE 4710 HDPE pipe for potable water distribution systems, it is important that the full benefits of this material are not compromised by improper inspection and installations.  We have found that the leading cause of failure is installation error followed by third party damage.  The purpose of this document is to standardise the inspection of HDPE piping, joining and installation systems.  The HDPE Municipal Advisory Board members identified the issue of achieving consistent inspection and created a task force to develop this document.”

“MAB-06 covers several areas critical to successful project completion,” stated Greg Scoby, P.E., Crossbore Consultants (Los Gatos, Calif) whose experience includes being the manager of water, gas, wastewater engineering for the City of Palo Alto Utilities Department.  Scoby led the MAB task force responsible for MAB-06.  

“It also includes field forms for incoming material QC, qualification of tooling and equipment, qualification of personnel conducting heat fusion and electrofusion, fusion reporting and pressure testing along with providing numerous resources related to material specifications, design and construction of HDPE water piping systems.”   

“The Municipal Advisory Board has other helpful publications such as MAB-03 Model Specifications Guide for PE 4710 Buried Potable Water Service, Distribution and Transmission Pipes and Fittings,” Rubeiz offered.  

“It covers system design parameters, quality control, pressure classes, pipe and fittings, training and inspection, joining methods such as butt fusion, saddle fusion, socket fusion, electrofusion and mechanical, plus open cut and trenchless installation for water services (3/4 to 3 inches per AWWA C901), and for water distribution and transmission (4 to 65 inches per AWWA C906).

“The goal of MAB, and of this particular document, is to provide the tools and the best practices used by utilities employing HDPE to project engineers and field operators, leading to further and proper widespread adoption of HDPE pipe in future projects.”