Volume 8, Issue 8 (September 2011)
Design and Performance of Plastic Drainage Pipes in Environmental Containment Facilities
Plastic drainage pipes are an essential component of modern engineered barrier systems used in municipal and hazardous solid waste landfills. The design and performance of plastic pipes in these applications is significantly different than conventional municipal sewers and culverts. For example, the plastic pipe may be surrounded by very coarse gravel backfill which results in additional local bending stresses from the irregular loading and support for the pipe. These plastic pipes also experience local stress concentrations from the perforations required to collect fluid. Both of these factors are exacerbated by potentially large overburden pressures acting above the pipe. They must also perform their function while being exposed to chemicals in landfill leachate for long periods of time and at temperatures significantly larger than those for conventional sewers and culverts. The influence of coarse gravel backfill, large perforations, large overburden stresses, chemical exposure and elevated temperatures on the long-term performance of plastic drainage pipes is examined.