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March/April 2009

Thermoplastic Corrugated Stormwater Chambers

Thermoplastic corrugated stormwater chambers are similar to other types of plastic piping systems in that they are subjected to significant live loads from surface traffic as well as dead loads from earth cover. However, differences in construction — specifically, the fact that chambers are open-bottomed arches — necessitate an understanding of how corrugated stormwater chambers behave differently from other piping systems in a buried environment.

A proposed new ASTM International standard, WK21965, Practice for Structural Design of Thermoplastic Corrugated Stormwater Chambers, will bring rational design procedures and uniformity to ensure structural safety over the design life (typically 50 or more years) of corrugated stormwater chamber systems. The proposed standard is being developed by Subcommittee F17.65 on Land Drainage.

“There is a growing demand for these types of chambers for the on-site detention/retention of stormwater as owners and developers strive to meet U.S. federal EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and state stormwater management regulations,” says Phillip Sharff, vice chair of Subcommittee F17.65 and a principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. “The proposed standard follows design requirements in the American Association of State Highway Officials load and resistance factor design bridge design specifications for thermoplastic pipe.” According to Sharff, the proposed standard provides detailed design procedures, including examples that can be applied by the engineers and manufacturers who design the chambers and will be the primary users of the WK21965.

Manufacturers, users and general interest parties are encouraged to join in the development of WK21965 as well as a related proposed standard, WK17320, Specification for Polyethylene (PE) Corrugated Wall Stormwater Collection Chambers.


Technical Information: Phillip Sharff, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, Mass.

Phone: 781-907-9241

ASTM Staff: Robert Morgan

Phone: 610-832-9732