SPECIFICATION GUIDANCE AND STANDARDS
As with any construction material, when specifying plastic civils and drainage products it’s important to check that they comply with the necessary standards, as this will ensure that they are suitable for the intended application. For example, it’s worthwhile checking that any performance claims have been verified by a third party certification scheme, such as the British Board of Agrément (BBA) or the BSI Kitemark.
For specific guidance on plastic drainage solutions, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Pipes Group has created a reference document which sets out detailed information on product standards for pipes, chambers, manholes and covers.
Markings on pipes should demonstrate compliance with the relevant standard and its scope of use. For example, for pipes to be compliant with BS EN 1401-1 (specifications for pipes, fittings and the system) each product is marked with the area code U or D – in addition to the manufacturer’s information, materials, dimensions and any third party certification. The area code U indicates it is for use outside the building structure, while D indicates it is suitable to be buried in the ground both within and outside the building.
For pipes compliant to BS EN 13476-2 (a three-part standard which identifies requirements for structured wall piping systems including pipes and jointing,) pipe markings include manufacturer’s information, materials, dimensions, ring stiffness and application (area) code.
In addition, the ongoing requirement to install sustainable drainage in new developments and the new Ofwat codes for adoptable sewers that came into force in England from April 2020 - giving mandatory guidance for developers when planning, designing and constructing foul and surface water drainage systems intended for adoption by English water and sewage companies under a section 104 agreement - requires parties at all levels to be aware and compliant with this legislative change. The adoption code is significant and provides the mechanism by which water companies can secure the adoption of a wide range of SuDS components.