Surface Water Culvert Design


Surface water culverts are among the most common drainage structures in the UK but their design is frequently a mystery to most Civil Engineers. Culverts must be adequately sized to carry design flows; constructed to avoid adverse effects on watercourse wildlife; and be economical. This course is based on CIRIA Report 168, "Culvert Design Guide", and is aimed at the non-specialist Design Engineer.


Aims & Objectives:

Delegates should finish the course with an understanding of how to assess flows in watercourses; be able to size culverts for those flows; be able to undertake the hydraulic design of inlet and outlet structures; and assess the capacity of existing culverts. They will also have an understanding of the environmental requirements of culvert design. Examples of good and not so good practice will be given.

The course will enable delegates to develop a deeper understanding of the hydraulic behaviour of culverts, and they should be able to:

  • Assess the watercourse flows in small catchments
  • Determine the size of new culverts
  • Appreciate the different types of culvert structures available
  • Appreciate the different types of culvert structures available
  • Determine the capacity of existing culverts

Course Outline:

The course will comprise:

  • Hydraulic characteristics of culverts
  • The design process
  • Good design practice
  • Data collection and conceptual design
  • Design of new culverts
  • Assessment of existing culvert capacity
  • Assessment of needs and capabilities of delegates
  • Presentation by tutor using PowerPoint, with illustrations and photographs
  • Several group or individual exercises
  • Summary
  • Understanding of the hydraulics of surface water culverts
  • Design process for new culverts
  • Ability to assess the capacity of existing culverts

Intended For:

Non-specialist design engineers who require the ability to design surface water culverts

  • Delegates should bring scientific calculators and scale rules with them
  • Delegates should complete the pre-course questionnaire
  • The course requires some mathematical ability