Objectives: This study was undertaken to provide the Kentucky Department of Transportation (KyDOT) with 1 ) information concerning the present state-of-the-art in the selection of culvert pipes with reference to the problem of drainage water from coal mines, shales and other excavations which may be highly acidic; and 2 ) recommendations on alternative materials and/or special treatments for pipes in areas of acid drain water.

Methodology: The study consisted of a review of the literature from selected highway agencies including Kentucky, a review of culvert pipe selection practices in other states and discussions with persons knowledgeable about pipe materials.

Findings: The pH of drainage water is the dominant factor affecting pipe performance in Kentucky. Three breakpoints in the pH ranges of drainage water can be used to define environmental conditions at drainage sites. Several alternative pipe materials and coatings are suitable for each pH range.

Recommendations: Based upon the study data and findings, a series of recommendations have been developed which can be used by KyDOT in a policy for selection of materials and/or special treatments for pipe culverts for each set of environmental conditions encountered in Kentucky.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 525

Digital Object Identifier