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Recommended Site Work Practice

  •  FP McCann-Drainage-and-Water-Management-Recommended-Site-Work-Practice
FP McCann Manhole Installation

Handling & Installing Manholes

1. Time and place of off-loading should be agreed before the units arrive at site. The contractor should provide suitable equipment for off-loading. For safety reasons, all chamber sections are loaded and delivered chimney fashion.

2. Off-loading should take place at the nearest hard road to the point of installation. When off-loaded, units should never be stored on their side (on the roll) but always be laid in the ‘as installed’ upright position.

3. Carefully inspect units during off-loading to verify that products are undamaged and comply with order placed. Note any discrepancies on the delivery docket and advise accordingly.


To ensure that the manhole structure is vertical, accurate levelling of the formation or the in-situ concrete foundation is essential. Please note: the depths of each manhole can vary and are subject to tolerances; it is recommended that each unit installed has it’s depth measured prior to installation, to ascertain if the levelling requirements are satisfactorily met. Tongue and groove joints should be installed with the groove facing upward. Manhole sections fitted with double steps can be used at any depth. However, it is recommended that the deepest section of manhole units should be used whenever possible, in order to minimise the number of joints and costs. Precast cover slabs can be laid directly onto the shaft or chamber rings. To allow for any differential settlement between manhole and pipeline, a flexible joint incorporating short length rocker pipes should be constructed as close as possible to the outside of the manhole or the concrete surround, if used. Extra care must be taken to ensure that joints are properly made.


Precast manhole components are provided with joints formed within the wall section. These are sealed with cement and sand mortar, or with proprietary FP McCann mastic sealants. Precast concrete manhole units, well jointed, provide an adequate seal under normal conditions.


An in-situ concrete surround to precast concrete manholes is not necessary because a well-constructed precast manhole is a strong, durable structure with its own inherent strength and would only require a surround for exceptional structural reasons. However, under some specifications, a concrete surround is required where the depth from ground level to the base of the concrete chamber ring exceeds 4.5m. In this case, the surround should be of 150mm thickness. Backfilling should take place as each precast manhole section is placed. It must be brought up evenly and compacted around the manhole to prevent displacement.


It is generally unnecessary to apply water tests to manholes. In normal working conditions, manholes are not normally full of water. Prevention of infiltration is of more relevance than exfiltration. If infiltration does occur, it can be seen and remedied by sealing using an appropriate method.

Note: When handling precast products on site, it is recommended that the contractor has the correct lifting equipment in place and adheres to the relevant lifting guidelines and standards.  Refer to the BPDA website for further information: