Standard Active Last Updated: May 17, 2022
ASTM F1668-16(2022)

Standard Guide for Construction Procedures for Buried Plastic Pipe

Significance and Use

4.1 This guide may be used as a reference of acceptable open-cut construction practices for the proper installation of buried fiberglass and thermoplastic pipe. This guide may be used as follows:

4.1.1 Installation contractors have an awareness of the level of workmanship required and use this information for bidding purposes and during construction.

4.1.2 Construction inspectors have a reference of acceptable installation practices.

4.1.3 Specification writers may use this guide as a reference in contract documents.

4.1.4 Designers may review this information during planning and design for factors to consider in the preparation of plans and specifications.

4.1.5 The owner of the pipeline may use this guide as a reference for restoration of proper pipe support and embedment when original construction is disturbed due to repairs, modifications, or construction of adjacent or crossing pipelines or cables.

4.2 This guide should not be used to replace project specification requirements, manufacturer's recommendations, plumbing codes, building codes, or ASTM installation standards, but may be used to supplement that information.


1.1 This guide describes installation techniques and considerations for open-cut construction of buried pipe. Although this guide was developed for plastic pipe, the concepts of providing the appropriate soil support, care in handling, correct joining techniques, proper soil compaction methods, and prevention of installation damage may apply to any pipe.

1.1.1 Plastic pipe refers to thermoplastic and fiberglass pipe.

1.1.2 Thermoplastic pipe refers to pipe fabricated from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), acrylonitrile-butadiene styrene (ABS), cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), or polypropylene (PP). A list of specifications for these products is given in Appendix X2.

1.1.3 Fiberglass pipe refers to a glass-fiber-reinforced thermosetting-resin pipe. A list of ASTM specifications for these products is given in Appendix X2.

Note 1: Appendix X2 cannot be considered inclusive because there may be unlisted, recently adopted ASTM specifications for new products that may be installed using this guide.

Note 2: Only a few of the ASTM specifications listed in Appendix X2 include the associated fittings. While this guide applies to the installation of pipe, couplings, and fittings, no attempt was made to list all the possible fitting specifications that may be used in conjunction with the pipe specifications. Consult each specification or manufacturer for appropriate fitting standards.

1.1.4 For simplification, the term pipe will be used in this document to mean pipe sections, fittings, and couplings.

1.2 This guide contains general construction information applicable for plastic pipe and supplements the installation standards for the various types of pipe as described in Practices D2321, D2774, D3839, F690, and Guide F645.

Note 3: This guide is not applicable for gas pipe applications as additional requirements may apply.

1.3 Flexible pipe, such as thermoplastic and fiberglass, are typically designed to rely on the stiffness of the soil surrounding the pipe for support. The contract documents should describe the requirements of an appropriate soil support system. The construction practices described in this guide can be instrumental in attaining the required soil stiffness.

1.3.1 A discussion of the interaction between a buried pipe and the surrounding soil and the importance of attaining proper soil support is in Appendix X1.

1.3.2 Following these guidelines will be helpful in preventing local deformations in the pipe.

1.4 This guide does not cover underwater installation, pipe that needs to be supported on piling, perforated pipe used for drainage, or gas pipelines.

1.5 Pipelines through areas described as “expansive soils,” “collapsing soils,” landfills or water-logged land (such as swamps) should be constructed using site-specific installation procedures and are not discussed in this guide.

1.6 This guide is not intended to cover all situations. Specific pipe characteristics, fluid transported, local site conditions, environmental concerns, or manufacturer's recommendations may require different guidelines.

1.7 The construction practices presented in this guide may be affected by the installation requirements of owners, specifying organizations, or regulatory agencies for pipelines crossing roads and highways, other pipelines or cables, or waterways such as streams, drainage channels, or floodways.

1.8 Culverts or pipe that are used as passages through water retaining embankments (for example, earth dams) may be constructed using the principles of this guide, if appropriate provisions are made to prevent water movement along the outside of the pipe (using impervious soils, cutoff collars, head walls, etc.).

1.9 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units in parentheses are given for information only.

Note 4: There is no similar or equivalent ISO standard covering the primary subject matter of this guide.

1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.11 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.04
Developed by Subcommittee: F17.61
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.1520/F1668-16R22
ICS Code: 23.040.20