Are you wondering what types of pipelines run underground? The rich history of pipelines in the United States dates back to the 19th century. Oil companies were the first to build pipelines to transport oil.

Today, pipelines play crucial roles with various purposes. What types of piping can you find underground? What materials do they feature?

Continue reading below for a quick guide to different types of pipelines.

Wastewater Pipelines

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipelines work best for sewer and wastewater conveyance. They connect through a solvent welding process or screw-like fittings. PVC pipes are versatile, as they can deliver water both below and above ground.

Another variation is the chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes. They work like PVC pipes but with better resistance against pressure and temperatures. CPVC pipes can work in both hot and cold water systems.

Water Pipelines

Water pipelines facilitate the transfer of water from treatment plants to buildings. Builders install water pipelines a few meters beneath cities and streets.

They use the location’s frost line to determine the ideal installation spots. Installers can also use Underground Magnetics Echo transmitters to avoid hitting nearby pipes and cables.

One of the most common types of piping for connecting underground water service lines is copper pipes. They offer resistance against corrosion and provide the right amount of rigidity. Because of these features, copper pipelines enjoy a near-universal code of approval.

The downside to copper pipes is they deteriorate in certain soil conditions. Builders prevent possible corrosion by sheathing them within synthetic sleeves.

Gathering Pipelines

Oil and gas companies use gathering pipelines to transfer their products from primary sources to processing plants. Flowlines attaching to individual wells feed the gathering pipelines. They connect a single wellhead to some processing equipment.

Builders install flowlines on the seafloor surface or in a sub-sea well field. A sub-sea pipe collects petroleum from under the sea. Disruption in these oil and gas pipelines causes shortages and price spikes.

Transmission Pipelines

Companies use transmission pipelines to transport crude oil, natural gas, and other refined products across states and countries. Some pipes even cross continents. They move the products from their production facilities to various distribution centers.

These pipelines use high pressures reaching as much as 1,200 psi to operate. The pipes can measure up to 42 inches in diameter. Each line also features compression stations or pump stations.

Distribution Pipelines

Distribution pipelines deliver natural gas to homes and businesses. They form a system of mains and service lines.

The mains bridge the high-pressure transmission lines and the low-pressure service lines. They are small to medium-sized in diameter and can withstand different pressure types. They also feature plastic, copper, stainless steel, or cast iron.

Meanwhile, service pipelines connect to individual meters. They deliver natural gas to specific customers. To ensure durability, they feature steel, copper, or plastic.

Learn More Types of Pipelines Now

Understanding the different types of pipelines allows you to appreciate underground structures. You can also choose the best materials for your pipe replacements.

Go beyond pipelines and how they work. Check out our other articles for more topics.