Enter Details

Rainfall: Either choose a Location

Pipe Size

This program is based on the Australian Plumbing Code AS/NZS 3500 and as such it is a very simplified method of calculating pipe sizes. It takes no account of losses such as entry and exit losses, and losses due to bends and fittings (it only calculates pipeline losses). These losses are assumed to be compensated for, by allowing water to rise up a bit into the down pipe or catch pit.

Also if the theoretical pipe diameter is greater than 4mm of an available pipe diameter, the next higher available pipe size is selected.

The velocity shown, is calculated on this next higher pipe size, flowing full at the design flow.
Please note that this is not necessarily the true velocity. It is a simple rule of thumb method used by the Plumbing Code as a means to reduce possible losses. The code requires this velocity to be kept below 2m/s. (Pipeline losses are dependant on the velocity). It is probably not that important for a single pipe, but when you start joining pipes together these (uncalculated) losses can add up. Hence the 2m/s requirement. This calculator takes all that into account.

Some explanation, because we have selected the next larger pipe size than what is 'theoreticaly required', the pipe is unlikely to be flowing full, so to be strictly correct the 'flowing part full calculations' should be used if designing Municipal systems. Some brief info on 'part full velocity' is shown here.

The Formula used is Colebrook-White (k=0.015) as per the Australian Plumbing Code.
If using the drop down town list for rainfall intensity, the storm recurrence interval is 20 years. Duration is 5mins for Australia. (NZ towns ARI 10 years, duration 10mins)

The coefficient of runoff is taken a 1. That is, 100% runoff, as in a roof.
If using the program for a different coefficient of runoff, multiply the catchment area by that coefficient before entering it in the calculator. For example with a catchment area of 100sqm and a Coefficient of runoff of 0.6 (60%), the area to enter into the program is 100 x 0.6 = 60 sqm.

Storm water design for Municipal systems is based on the Hydraulic Grade line, which takes into account all losses in the system. e.g. through access chambers, junctions, catch pits etc. And also allows for pipes discharging below water level.
To learn about this, and storm water design principles in general click here..

However this level of detail is not required for single straight pipes, and is not required under the Australian Plumbing Code. The code makes allowances for losses by other means and a slightly different approach.
This method is explained more fully in the 'Notes & Instructions' on using the multiple pipeline calculator.

What if we use this method to size a pipe from a down pipe, and find that the resulting pipe is smaller than the downpipe itself. (Assuming the Downpipe was sized in the Downpipe calculator)

A Down pipe size is more dependent on the perimeter of the pipe (circular weir, or orifice) at the entrance, than the cross sectional area. And as such does not flow full. Whereas the underground pipe maybe flowing full, thereby resulting in a smaller pipe.

Now it is very bad practise to reduce a pipe size downstream. Besides which it is against all codes and requirements and laws. It is also a potential blockage problem.

So, we can put in more DP's to reduce their size, or we can flatten the grade of the underground pipe to increase it's size, or we can enlarge the Downpipe at the entrance to the diameter required by the downpipe calculator, thereby providing a "Funnel" into the vertical pipe. Or we could just enlarge the underground pipe and say nothing to anybody.

Note: Don't use this to design syphonic systems though, as a syphonic systems need special fittings to get it started, and also to remove entrapped air.

How to Enter a Known Flow
The flow formula is :-    flow = Area * Intensity / 3600 (Where coefficient of runoff is 1)

Make Area equal 3600, when divided by 3600 will cancel out, leaving the intensity equal to the required flow. For example, say your known flow is 20 L/s, enter 3600 as the area, set the location to "I prefer to enter a know Intensity", and enter 20 as the intensity. the flow will be calculated to be 20 L/s.

What if ?
What if the storm intensity is greater than the pipe was designed for? or what if the pipe gets blocked?
Then, if there is a risk of serious damage, you may wish to design an overland flow path.

More Instructions
Copyright Ken Sutherland 2015
If you find that the programs useful, please feel free to buy me a beer.