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A question that comes up frequently: “Will this alternate pipe solution convey the same amount of flow that’s shown on these set of plans?”And the one thing most people tend to dread hearing is the same tired response: well, that depends. Why does it always have to depend on something? Just give me an answer: yes or no?As an engineer, it has been

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 I’ve recently been seeing engineers choosing what I feel are inappropriate Manning’s “n” coefficients for sewer design.  Some choose too conservative values, while others don’t understand that long term creep within the pipe wall may adversely affect the hydraulic performance of certain pipe types.  A few things to consider are as follows: 

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Culverts and buried bridge structures rely on a number of practical design and installation criteria to ensure they function structurally, hydraulically and aesthetically. Such structures need to be sized to fit the site hydraulic requirements. Additionally, they need to be installed with proper backfill material, placement and compaction methods.

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Hydrologic culvert design in general terms may be considered an art more than a science in my opinion. There certainly are hard facts and science involved but more often than not, when it comes to practical applications, the amount of data is typically very limited; this is especially true during the early stages of a projects design cycle.

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