Pipe Abandonment

Have a tricky pipe abandonment challenge?  Don’t want to dig holes down the middle of a road every 100 feet to dump flowable fill into a pipe?  We specialize in long run pipe abandonments.  Whether it’s a 4″ conduit or a 96″ sanitary sewer, cellular concrete is an economical, reliable pipe abandonment material.  CJGeo has abandoned up to 3500LF of pipe in a single stretch with no intermediate access points.

Mix Design for Pipe Abandonment

30PCF wet cast density cellular concrete is the most common pipe abandonment mix.  This yields an average compressive strength of 125psi at 28 days.  Each cubic yard in place contains 512 pounds of Portland cement, 256 pounds of water, and 20.3 cubic feet of preformed Aerlite foam.

Placement Method for Pipe Abandonment

Depending on pipe diameter, slope, and existing access points, cellular concrete for pipe abandonment can be placed by dumping into manholes using a tremmie tube, or can be pumped.  Tremmie placement into manholes is the most economical method, however relies on gravity to ensure complete fill, so is rarely used.  Cellular concrete can easily be pumped 3000+ feet through abandoned pipes.  Therefore, cellular concrete requires far fewer injection points than traditional flowable or pumpable fill.


Pipe abandonment of large diameter sewer line at a treatment facility, using cellular concrete.

Cellular concrete pipe abandonment project.

Cellular concrete is economical for pipe abandonment because the majority of the mix is air bubbles.   This decreases the material cost significantly.  

Another cost savings benefit of cellular concrete is that it’s highly pumpable.  We have done single access point abandonments in excess of 3500LF.  This significantly reduces the number of access points which are required compared to traditional flowable fill installation.  The installation pressure of cellular concrete is also much lower than flowable fill, which helps to ensure safer jobsites.  

The lightweight mixes used for pipe abandonment generally have expansion ratios of greater than 3 times.  This significantly reduces the number of trucks onsite.  This reduces job site congestion and allows other trades to work uninterrupted.  For applications adjacent to roadways, it can significantly reduce traffic control expenses.

Flows Through Collapses

Cellular concrete easily abandons partially collapsed pipes.  If water can pass through a collapsed area, cellular concrete can as well.  Cellular concrete’s high flowability eliminates the need to drill or excavate down to intercept trapped sections pipe between collapses.  Cellular concrete also fills all voids outside of collapsed pipes.