18. September 2020

Embedded in the ground, buried or covered with earth?

The experts are striving for a uniform term

You might call it subtle - but it provides clarity. Perhaps. The experts are trying to find a uniform term. Currently the favourite is: Earth-covered.

Our winking assessment of this:

  • Underground pipes are laid in the ground.
    This means that the pipes are surrounded all around by soil = earth, and they are "laid" in it.
  • Embedded pipes are embedded in the ground.
    This could mean: The bedding consists of soil = earth. Can a sand-gravel bedding be used? The cover may consist of another material - whatever that may be.
  • Earth-covered pipes, on the other hand, are covered by soil (ground?). Readers who are tolerant of soil mechanics may well interpret a cover of sand as "soil". One may speculate about the bedding.

Seen through the eyes of pipe statics, it does not matter: For trench-laid*) pipes according to ATV-DVWK-A 127 or jacking pipes according to DWA-A 161, the person responsible for the structural analysis determines the soil properties for the statics. Here, numbers are more important than terms.

*) also: ducts constructed in open construction - in contrast to trenchless installation = jacking - at least as long as it is a new construction. If pipes are rehabilitated, liners are used - because inliners are shoes with four rollers. And that's enough sophistry.