Review of Performance of Gasketed Joints of Buried Concrete and Steel Pipelines in California After Recent Seismic Events

December 30, 2011

The history of steel bell and spigot joints with fiber-center lead gasket for concrete pressure pipe in California dates back to 1933, and the modern joints with O-ring gaskets for concrete and steel pressure pipelines to 1940. The performance of these gasketed joints in the seismically active region of California has been excellent. There have been isolated occurrences of damage to both unrestrained gasketed joints and welded restrained joints. The damage generally occurred at the end of concrete encasements or at structures or near bends. Several case studies will evaluate the effect of three large recent earthquakes on nearby pipelines. This paper will show that the empirical evidence suggests that gasketed joints of concrete pressure pipe and intermediate diameter steel pipe perform well in earthquakes and they should be considered for pipeline projects in seismically active regions. Recommendations will be made regarding measures that may reduce the risk of damage to pipelines using gasketed joints.

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