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The Authoritative Resource on Safe Water®

AWWA Standard

Education and Training

� Science and Technology

6666 West Quincy Avenue
Denver, CO 80235-3098
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AWWA C604-06
(First Edition)

Installation of Steel
Water Pipe—4 In.
(100 mm) and Larger

Effective date: Dec. 1, 2007.
First edition approved by AWWA Board of Directors: Feb. 12, 2006.
This edition approved: Feb. 12, 2006.

Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

Page 2


AWWA Standard
This document is an American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard. It is not a specification. AWWA standards
describe minimum requirements and do not contain all of the engineering and administrative information normally
contained in specifications. The AWWA standards usually contain options that must be evaluated by the user of the
standard. Until each optional feature is specified by the user, the product or service is not fully defined. AWWA publication
of a standard does not constitute endorsement of any product or product type, nor does AWWA test, certify, or approve
any product. The use of AWWA standards is entirely voluntary. AWWA standards are intended to represent a consensus
of the water supply industry that the product described will provide satisfactory service. When AWWA revises or withdraws
this standard, an official notice of action will be placed on the first page of the classified advertising section of Journal
AWWA.The action becomes effective on the first day of the month following the month of Journal AWWA publication of the
official notice.

Science and Technology
AWWA unites the drinking water community by developing and distributing authoritative scientific and technological
knowledge. Through its members, AWWA develops industry standards for products and processes that advance public
health and safety. AWWA also provides quality improvement programs for water and wastewater utilities.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information or retrieval system, except in the form of brief excerpts
or quotations for review purposes, without the written permission of the publisher.

Copyright © 2007 by American Water Works Association
Printed in USA

Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

Page 24

12 AWWA C604-06

Sec. 3.3 Pipe Installation

Proper implements, tools, and facilities shall be provided and used for the safe

and convenient performance of the work. All pipe, fittings, and valves shall be

lowered carefully into the trench by means of a backhoe or crane, using nylon slings,

guide ropes, or other suitable tools or equipment, in such a manner as to prevent

damage to the pipe, protective coatings, and linings. Pipe shall not be dropped or

dumped into the trench. The trench shall be dewatered prior to installation of the

pipe and maintained until the pipeline is substantially covered as necessary to prevent

pipe from floating.

The length of pipe that may be installed prior to backfilling shall not exceed

1,000 ft (330 m) or a length approved by the purchaser. Backfilling for this purpose

is described as material covering the top of the pipe. If the constructor chooses to

backfill between pipe joints, the exposed portion of the joint area will be

accumulated toward the limit.

3.3.1 Examination of material. All pipe, fittings, coatings and appurtenances

shall be examined carefully for damage and other defects immediately before

installation. Defective materials shall be marked and held for final disposition as

required by the contract documents.

3.3.2 Pipe ends. All deleterious materials shall be removed from the ends of

each pipe. For bell- and spigot-pipe, the outside of the spigot end and the inside of

the bell shall be wiped clean and dry so that it is free from dirt, sand, grit, and other

foreign matter before the pipe is installed.

3.3.3 Pipe cleanliness. Foreign material shall be prevented from entering the

pipe while it is being placed in the trench. No debris, tools, clothing, or other

materials shall be allowed to accumulate during construction and shall be promptly

removed as work progresses.

3.3.4 Direction of bells. It is common practice to lay welded pipe joints with

the spigot facing the direction in which work is progressing; however, this practice is

not mandatory. For gasketed pipe, common practice is to lay the pipe joints with the

bell facing the direction in which work is progressing to prevent debris from being

scooped into the bell. The direction of the bells is not functionally related to the

direction of flow within the system.

3.3.5 Pipe end caps. When pipe laying is not in progress, the open ends of

pipe may be required to be closed by a plug or other means as specified. If utilized,

Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

Page 25


the end caps shall remain in place until the trench work proceeds. Care must be

taken to prevent pipe flotation should the trench fill with water.

Sec. 3.4 Joint Assembly and Testing

Proper implements, tools, and facilities shall be provided and used for the safe and

convenient performance of the work. The types of joints covered in this standard include

gasketed, flanged, sleeve coupling, and welded joints, all of which have specific

applications. The joint types required for a project will be dictated by the contract


The joint assembly shall be coated with a compatible coating according to the

coating manufacturer’s recommendations and the applicable AWWA standard.

3.4.1 Gasketed joints. The gasketed joint design consists of a bell-and-spigot

end configuration formed directly into the steel pipe cylinder or attached to the steel

pipe cylinder. The spigot end includes a groove that retains an O-ring gasket. The

gasket groove and the bell end of the mating pipe shall be cleaned thoroughly. When

the spigot is inserted into the bell, the gasket compresses between the steel surfaces to

form a watertight seal. Gasketed joints shall be assembled as described in Sec.

and illustrated in Figures 1 and 2. Gaskets shall be designed properly for the joint to

be assembled and shall be properly seated. Pipe placement for gasketed joints. Mark the outside of the pipe at

the quarter points for the full stab depth. This dimension is provided as the length

on the joint detail drawings and typically ranges from 3 in. (75 mm) to 7 in.

(175 mm). Lift the pipe using the appropriate method. On steep slopes it may be

advisable to use slings as chokers. Visually inspect the O-ring gasket for any visible

defects, cuts, or tears. Before placing the gasket in the spigot groove, apply a light

coat of vegetable-based pipe lubricant to the bottom of the spigot groove. Stretch the

O-ring gasket over the pipe spigot end by hand or by using a dull pry bar (to avoid

cuts or tears), and then carefully seat the gasket into the O-ring groove on the spigot

(see Figure 1). After placement, tension relieve the gasket by running a dull object,

such as a wooden dowel, between the gasket and the spigot groove, around the pipe

circumference several times. Just prior to stabbing, apply a light coat of vegetable-

based pipe lubricant to the spigot end exterior and the bell end interior, being sure to

keep the joint clean. The spigot end shall be stabbed approximately 1 in. (25 mm)

into the bell end, with the two mating pieces parallel to each other (see Figure 2).

The spigot shall then be engaged the appropriate distance. Small-diameter pipe

Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

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Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

Page 48

1P-3.6M-43604-12/07-JP Printed on recycled paper.

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information and advocacy to improve the quality and supply
of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world.
AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the water community.
Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the
people and the environment.

Copyright ©2007 American Water Works Association. All Rights Reserved.

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