Why Corrugated Steel Pipes Are a Sustainable Choice for Drainage Applications

The use of corrugated steel pipes as piping for drainage systems is commonplace across Australia. On a smaller scale, these pipes can be used to direct runoff away from private properties; and on a bigger scale, they can be used as culverts and stormwater drains along public roads and under bridges. One of the main reasons for the widespread use of corrugated steel pipes for drainage applications is the sustainability of the pipes. 

Read on to educate yourself why corrugated steel pipes will continue to be a popular choice for drainage applications today and in the days ahead. 


Most in-ground applications are time-consuming and expensive, so perhaps the biggest selling point of corrugated steel is that it can maintain its strength and durability for a very long time. These qualities are highly important for most drainage projects, where drains are expected to stand the test of time once installed. The prefabrication of corrugated steel pipes allows for the production of high performance products that can withstand the elements. This reduces the need to frequently remove and replace old drainage pipes. This means that corrugated steel pipes are also an economical choice over the long term.

Potential for recycling

Upon reaching the end of their lifespan, corrugated steel drain pipes will not be sent to the landfill. Rather, they will be taken to a recycling facility that accepts steel for recycling. At the facility, up to 100% of the waste material can be recycled and used to make new steel products. This impacts the natural environment in so many positive ways. To begin with, the need to mine iron ore (the main raw material used for steel production) is greatly reduced. This means less disruption of unspoiled land by mining activities. In addition, recycling steel takes far less energy than it does to mine iron ore. Hence, the tremendous potential for recycling makes corrugated steel pipes an environmentally friendly choice for drainage applications.

Design flexibility

The design of corrugated pipe makes it more flexible than rigid smooth pipe, meaning that corrugated steel pipes can be used for a wider range of drainage applications. The degree of corrugation is based upon the number of the ridges – the greater the number, the more flexible the pipe. 

Waste minimisation

Thanks to the advent of computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines, the prefabrication of corrugated steel leads to minimal waste generation. This means the available steel is efficiently utilised.