As the new European EN standards continue to be assimilated by the construction industry, members of the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association (CPSA), in full consultation with British Standards Institute (BSI) Product Services, have agreed to implement those applying to their industry in their entirety from September 27, 2004. This means that until then products will be manufactured and Kitemarked to the current standards and after that date to the new standards. There will inevitably be some overlap as products made before September 27 will be held in stock and still supplied to customers.

In October 2002, two European standards were published for concrete pipeline products. They are BS EN 1916:2002 for concrete pipes and fittings and BS EN 1917:2002 for concrete manholes and inspection chambers. Both standards exclude a number of elements required to produce a full product standard, so these had to be specified at a national level. These National Complementary Standards, BS5911, were published by BSI in November 2002, with part 1 for concrete pipes, part 3 for concrete manholes and soakaways and part 4 for concrete inspection chambers. In the wake of the publication of the new standards, there is now a period of ‘co-existence’ during which a manufacturer can use the new ENs or continue with the old national standards. This period is required for manufacturers to make all the necessary changes to both product manufacture and management systems, for example, obtaining Kitemark licences to the new standards. After this period of co-existence, set at two years, the conflicting national standards will be withdrawn in November 2004. These are BS5911: part 2:1982 – inspection chambers, part 100:1988 – pipes and fittings, part 120:1989 – jacking pipes and part 200:1994 – manholes and soakaways. For pipes, the current strength classifications of light, medium and heavy-duty (L, M and H) will be replaced by a single-strength class of 120, which be approximately the same level as the current class H. The new size range includes a true metric range of pipes. The existing traditional range of sizes is still included and has been deemed the ‘classic’ sizes. However, although true metric sizes are included, it does not necessarily mean they are all readily available. For structural design to BS EN 1295, unreinforced pipes (DN225-600 inclusive) can still be designed with the current factor of safety (Fse) of 1.25. The factor of safety increases to 1.5 for reinforced pipes. However, in order to maintain design continuity and to cater for schemes designed prior to the implementation of EN1916, CPSA members will continue to test reinforced pipes to BS5911: part 100 proof loads. This will permit continued use of the current factor of safety of 1.25.

As regards manholes and manhole covers, the new EN1917 only includes products up to DN1250, as standard manholes across Europe do not normally exceed this diameter. The complementary standard has therefore been drafted to provide a specification for products up to DN3000. Rectangular manholes and inspection chambers are now covered within the standard. In line with pipes, manholes have a strength class. There is only one strength class for each nominal size and so the actual class will not have to be specified.

For chamber units up to DN1200, there is also a new watertightness test in which jointed chamber units are subject to an internal hydrostatic pressure. EN 1916 and EN1917 include requirements for manufacturers’ quality assurance systems, in line with other European standards.

To be awarded a Kitemark licence, manufacturers may opt either to meet the requirements of the respective annex in the EN or to continue with a system that complies with ISO 9001:2000. It has to be stressed the products remain fundamentally the same as those produced to the current standards, the changes being principally to test requirements and terminology.

Specifiers and customers can have full confidence the changeover to European standards means concrete pipeline products will still be made to the highest standards and there will be no reduction in either the quality or the performance of products

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