PipeMate – Sewer & Storm water reticulation design & analysis software

PipeMate-3D is the gravity sewer and storm water network software package of the Technocad urban design software.

Technocad urban design software is a suite of personal-computer based programs for the design and automated draughting of civil engineering urban services. Incorporated in this suite are software packages that cover all aspects of civil engineering services design such as Roads, Sewer reticulation, Storm water reticulation and Water supply.

All the packages have been written with knowledge gained in the civil design office where the need for fully automated draughting, rather than manually manipulated computer aided draughting, was identified as the only way of increasing design and draughting productivity.

The purpose of the software is to provide an intuitive graphical approach to sewer and stormwater reticulation design and analysis, whereby basic information pertaining to the reticulation system is gleaned directly from the AutoCAD drawing. In addition, PipeMate gives you final working layout and longitudinal section drawings for the complete network with the minimum amount of manual input. The designer works from within AutoCAD, building the drawing as the design process proceeds.

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Work Smarter

Pipe networks are co-ordinated and layout and longitudinal section drawings are created automatically from parameters chosen by the designer. All manhole numbering and pipe numbering is done for you. Quantities are also calculated, both for piping and manholes. In addition trench excavation volumes are also available – all in an Excel® spreadsheet.

Because you are working in AutoCAD, you can easily add extra notes, background images or attach reference files etc. prior to plotting the final working drawings. Let PipeMate do all the previously boring and mundane work!

Horizontal layout drawings

The designer simply has to draw lines representing the gravity pipe network in plan in AutoCAD, connecting the plots/stands as required, creating a ‘dendritic’ drainage network in the process. Line endpoints indicate manhole requirements – you do not have to draw any of the manholes; PipeMate does it all for you. Simply draw a circle to indicate the position of the outfall. Enter inflows as equivalent erven or l/s into your network graphically.

When you have created your drainage reticulation layout, simply ‘window’ the network in AutoCAD and PipeMate calculates the following automatically:

  • Manholes are numbered and sorted into branch order
  • Pipes are numbered and sorted
  • Manhole / pipe topology automatically determined
  • Manholes are co-ordinated to the required co-ordinate system
  • Pipe lengths calculated and totalled
  • A layout drawing is automatically produced for any desired scale (PipeMate takes care of all your text sizes), and the following is drawn for you, all on separate layers:
  • Manholes
  • Manhole number label text at a selected rotation angle to the horizontal
  • Pipe number/diameter text placed midway above each pipe
  • Pipe length text placed midway below each pipe
  • A co-ordinate list for all manholes
  • A pipe data list for all pipes giving:
    – ‘From’ manhole
    – ‘To’ manhole
    – Pipe length
    – Pipe diameter
  • A summary of total pipe lengths by diameter

PipeMate - Typical Sewer Reticulation layout with Tables
PipeMate – Typical Sewer Reticulation Layout with tables

Network Pipe Branching

PipeMate will automatically compute a pipe branching configuration for you. This branching configuration can then be viewed graphically. The designer has the option to accept PipeMate’s branching or to change the branching. Once again, this is easily done by simply picking the pipes making up your required branching arrangement.

Hydraulic Design

Hydraulic design of the gravity sewers can be done with determination of drop manholes, diameter choice from schedules of commercially available sizes (user-definable), starting and flattest pipe grades per pipe diameter and minimum cover required.

In addition the user can specify:

  • Minimum manhole drop
  • Maximum depth of flow in pipe for design purposes
  • Depth categories for manhole and pipe earthworks excavation quantities
  • Pipe Manning’s ‘n’ value

PipeMate computes the required pipe sizes for all branches in the network including calculations to ensure that all interconnecting pipe branches ‘tie-up’. This unique feature alone can save you many hours of manual work. Imagine being able to have a whole network designed for you by simply pressing a button!

Hydraulic results include design flow/velocity, maximum flow/velocity, capacity %, grade, length etc. for every pipe in each branch. Low/high velocities are highlighted. A schedule of piping quantities is extracted.

PipeMate - Typical hydraulic results
PipeMate – Typical hydraulic results

Longitudinal Section Draughting

Longitudinal sections can be designed and drawn of the sewer/stormwater branches with the capability of being able to enter ground profile data from many sources e.g. Digital terrain models (DTM’s), site peg surveys, archive manual drawings, contour drawings etc. This feature makes it more versatile in that not all designs justify aerial photography, global surface surveys or the digitising in of existing layout drawings. However, by making use of the transparent in-memory link to a SurfMate or AutoCAD Civil3D surface, ground elevations along all branches can be picked up with the press of a button! Breaklines in a TIN (triangulated irregular network) surface will be picked up accurately on longitudinal sections.

Features of longitudinal sections include:

  • Choice of any horizontal or vertical scales
  • Extraction of longitudinal section ground profiles automatically from a SurfMate or Civil3D DTM. Annotation on the longitudinal section at any chosen interval
  • Optional manual entry of ground level information (if DTM not available)
  • Preview and editing of ground profile files and sewer profile files with ability to force inverts, pipe grades or drops
  • Ground and invert levels interpolated if required at constant chainage intervals
  • Ground and invert levels determined at special chainages such as pipe or road crossings
  • Manhole inverts and pipe grades either designed automatically or else entered manually by specifying either:
    – Manhole invert
    – Pipe grade
    – Drop manhole
  • Longitudinal sections annotated automatically with pipe specifications, diameters and bedding specifications. Hydraulic information also placed automatically on longitudinal section.
  • User customisable presentation of longitudinal sections
  • User able to draw ‘partial’ longitudinal sections; simply tell PipeMate the required ‘starting’ manhole and ‘ending’ manhole
  • Output in high quality final drawing format inside AutoCAD. This allows for further editing and enhancement if required prior to plotting.

PipeMate - Typical profile with hydraulic information
PipeMate – Typical profile with hydraulic information

House Connections

House connections from the erven to the sewer mains can be semi-automatically designed using the terrain surface. These are designed in plan for each erf/stand and then the connections are automatically shown on the longitudinal sections. This ensures that all erven can connect to the sewer mains for the design. Special connections for cul-de-sacs etc. are also catered for.

Utility Crossings

Other utilities such as power cables, communications cables, water mains etc can be indicated in plan at each pipe crossing. These crossings are also automatically shown on the longitudinal sections giving invert levels. This ensures that the contractor is aware of all crossings as indicated in plan and section.

Quantities Calculations

Earthworks quantities are calculated in user selectable depth categories for both the “design” mode and “analysis” mode and automatically placed in a formatted Excel® worksheet.

Output includes:

  • Pipe length and pipe diameter for each pipe in each branch in the network
  • Pipe earthworks excavation quantities listed per branch for each diameter and depth category
  • Cumulative quantities for all branches in the network
  • Number of manholes per depth category and total number in network (depth category is user definable)
  • Length of piping material by diameter for the complete network
  • Total length of piping for all network
  • Pricing by pipe length for all of the above
  • A fully priced schedule of quantities summing the quantities of all branches in the network

PipeMate - Complete Schedule of Quantities
PipeMate – Complete Schedule of Quantities (MS-Excel® format)

PipeMate - Detailed Quantities per network branch
PipeMate – Detailed Quantities per network branch (MS-Excel® format)

Hydraulic Analysis

This allows the hydraulic analysis of an existing system (as opposed to the design of a new system) where the pipe sizes are known and the designer wishes to calculate the hydraulic capacities of the existing network and produce longitudinal sections.

Longitudinal sections can be drawn of an existing sewer or stormwater network with the capability of being able to enter ground profile data from many sources e.g. Digital terrain models (DTM’s), site peg surveys, archive manual drawings, contour drawings etc. This feature makes it more versatile in that not all designs justify aerial photography, global surface surveys or the digitising in of existing layout drawings.

Hydraulic analysis of the gravity sewer/stormwater network can be carried out allowing for drop manholes, varying diameters and pipe grades, varying Manning “n” values and flows.

Clash Detection between Multiple Gravity Networks

Various gravity networks such as a sewage and stormwater network would be designed using PipeMate. Using the database information of any 2 networks, PipeMate allows the designer to automatically do a 3D clash detection between any 2 networks. Should any 3D clashes be found then these are indicated on the layout drawing as well as on the longitudinal sections of each branch in the network. This ensures that the designer does not unwittingly issue drawings for designs that will clash on site.


Once a complete design has been completed all the pipes and manholes can be automatically drawn and annotated in AutoCAD Civil 3D as 3D pipe and structure elements. All pipe branches in the network are automatically taken into cognisance.

Automatic drawing of AutoCAD Civil 3D profiles (longsections) for all branches in the network (or just those selected) can be done. All Civil3D styles and catalogs required are supplied with PipeMate-3D. Hydraulic information such as design/maximum pipe flows and design/maximum velocities are automatically placed on the AutoCAD Civil 3D profiles.

Export of data to GIS systems

PipeMate allows for the exportation of the complete design database to a Microsoft Access® database file. This database file can be handed over to the local authority for importation into their GIS for maintenance and management purposes.

Connection of Drawing Pipe/Manhole Objects to GIS

PipeMate can automatically connect each record of each pipe and manhole in the exported Microsoft Access database file to the associated object in the AutoCAD drawing. The connected database can then be queried using normal queries and SQL type queries and the results highlighted graphically in the drawing. Similarly where pipe or manhole objects are selected in the drawing, the records are highlighted in the database.

Modifying an existing network

PipeMate allows for the modification of an existing network at any stage during the design process or afterwards when producing ‘As-Built’ drawings. Typical modifications can include:

  • Renaming of manholes
  • Inserting extra manholes / pipes
  • Deleting manholes / pipes
  • Inserting new branches
  • Deleting branches
  • Adding, modifying or removing inflows at manholes


Also included with PipeMate is the Technocad toolbox featuring lots of useful functions to make your draughting a pleasure! The toolbox is accessible via the pull-down menu or directly from a specially designed toolbar.

On-line Help

PipeMate has a full-featured HTML style Windows on-line help with hot links, indexing and search features. A ‘Quick start’ section gets you going very quickly

Hardware requirements

  • 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 64-bit (x64) processor
  • RAM – sufficient to run AutoCAD software; Autodesk recommendation (minimum) is 4GB+
  • Hard disk capacity – program files need approx. 50MB
  • Graphics resolution – recommended 1024 x 768 or higher.
  • Printer/Plotter – sufficient for your drawing presentation purposes, such as A0 / A1. Practically all plotter/printers supported as printing performed through AutoCAD

Software Requirements

  • AutoCAD® 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 supported. Also equivalent AutoCAD Map 3D® and other AutoCAD based products, such as AutoCAD Civil 3D®.
  • Operating systems: Windows 8.0 & 8.1 (64-bit) and Windows 10 (64-bit).
  • SurfMate or AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018-2021 digital terrain modelling software (for reading ground elevations from a digital terrain model and drawing longitudinal sections (profiles)).

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