How to Lay Sewer Pipe

Steve Smith

Laying sewer pipe involves setting the pipe into the ground, usually in a trench dug with an excavator. The sewer pipe can be laid right on the earth; however, the trench must be dug on a slight angle to assist in the flow of liquids through the pipe.

This is done by setting a grade into the trench line to match the layout of your pipe design, and they must be very straight. This improves the flow of water through the pipe. Many methods are used to lay sewer pipe so it is straight, but one of the best ways is to use a "laser-assisted" device.

  1. Set stakes into the ground to mark the route of your sewer line. Make sure they are straight by positioning a laser on the top of the first stake and pointing it to the last stake. Reposition the stakes that fall out of line with the laser so they line up with the laser.

  2. Dig the trench using a excavator, following the stakes used to denote the straight line. Dig the trench at a 1 percent grade toward the end of the sewer line, at a depth of 6 feet or more, or as specified by your sewer line design.

  3. Lay the pipe into the trench using a crane lift. Set the pipe into the trench one right after the other with enough space in between to install a coupling connector. This varies based on pipe size; consult your sewer diagram for the coupling size and length.

  4. Place a batter board over the sewer pipe section. This is a 2-by-4 board that lays across the trench with two stakes in the ends. It is secured in place with a sledgehammer. The batter board also has a "batten" that is nailed dead center to the batter board.

  5. Attach a laser to the first batten and line up each consecutive batten on each batter board down the line. This ensures they are all perfectly straight.