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Orangeburg Sewer Pipe
Orangeburg Pipe

Orangeburg Pipe

Via: SewerHistory.org. DPW, City of Orangeburg, SC. Courtesy William Zorn. Photo: Jan McDonald.
This photo, of the nice, pristine Orangeburg sewer pipe, is not something you will ever see in real life. That's because you're more likely to find it in a collapsed state after you dig up your malfunctioning sewer line.

Fiber conduit pipe (its proper name) was "made of ground cellulose (wood) fibres bound together with a special water resistant adhesive, and, thereafter, impregnated with liquefied coal tar pitch," according to SewerHistory.org.

Lightweight, it was easy for plumbers to carry. Brittle, it was easy for them to cut with regular carpenter's saws.

But like today's PVC and ABC pipe, it had a tendency to collapse. Thus, the pipe had to be properly bedded in sand and pea gravel to reduce stress on the pipe.

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