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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 790. Sewage Collection and Treatment Regulations
7/10/2020

9VAC25-790-440. Force Mains.

A. Capacity. The minimum size of force mains shall be four inches in diameter, except for grinder pumps and septic tank effluent (settled sewage) pumping systems, which shall be provided with a minimum diameter of one inch.

1. At pumping capacity, a minimum self-scouring velocity of two feet per second shall be maintained unless provisions for flushing are made. A velocity of eight feet per second should not be exceeded unless suitable construction methods are specified.

2. Air relief valves shall be placed at the high points in the force main to relieve air locking and shall be periodically exercised and maintained.

B. Connections. Force mains shall normally enter a gravity sewer system at a point no more than one foot above the flow line of the receiving manhole with a curved section to prevent air from traveling up into the force main. The force main should enter the receiving manhole with its center-line horizontal, and shall have an invert elevation which ensures a smooth flow transition to the gravity flow section. Special attention shall be paid to the design of the termination in order to prevent turbulence at this point. Whenever existing force mains are connected within a sewerage system in a manner that results in increased flow rates or pressure increase to the existing force mains, those existing force mains shall be examined by the owner. Existing force mains may be examined by internal visual inspections, flow or pressure testing, or other suitable means to verify hydraulic and structural adequacy to convey the actual or projected flow. The results of such inspections and tests shall be submitted with the design documents.

C. Materials. All pipe used for force mains shall be of the pressure type with pressure type joints. The force main shall be constructed of materials with a demonstrated resistance to deterioration from corrosion, acidity, and other chemical action.

1. Consideration should be given to the use of inert materials or protective coatings for either the receiving manhole or gravity sewer to prevent deterioration as a result of hydrogen sulfide or other chemical attack. These requirements should be provided for all force mains.

2. All force mains shall be tested at a minimum pressure of at least 50% above the design operating pressure for at least 30 minutes. Leakage shall not exceed the amount given by the formula contained in the most current AWWA Standard C-600.

D. Installation. Class A, B or C bedding (ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice—No. 36, 1974 and the WPCF Manual of Practice—No. 9, 1970) or AWWA pipe installation conditions 3, 4 or 5 (ANSI/AWWA C600-82) shall be provided for installation of pipelines in excavated trenches. Installation of pipelines of flexible materials shall be in accordance with recognized standards.

Force mains shall be sufficiently anchored within the pump station and throughout the line length. The number of bends shall be as few as possible. Thrust blocks, restrained joints, or tie rods shall be provided where restraint is needed.

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.19 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Former 12VAC5-581-500 derived from Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. February 27, 2002; amended and adopted as 9VAC25-790-440, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 09, eff. February 12, 2004.

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