Ezigrade (version 2)

Pipes Menu

The Pipes menu is to allow the design of a subterranean drainage system. In the states it is known as "Tile Drainage". To create a Tile Drainage system you would normally use the following steps:
  • Assess the site. Is tile drainage the best way to go or should you be looking at land forming or ditching instead. Rember that Ezigrade allows you to use a combination of landforming, drainage / ditching and tile drainage which may be a more cost effective solution.
  • Consider factors such as soil type, topography, existing drainage patterns, and water sources (e.g., streams, ponds). This information will help determine the appropriate layout and sizing of the system.
  • Plan the layout: Based on the site assessment and drainage objectives, plan the layout of the drainage system. Identify the primary and secondary drain lines, as well as the location and spacing of the subsurface drains. The drain lines should follow natural drainage patterns, with a gentle slope to facilitate water flow.
  • Determine drain spacing: The drain spacing depends on various factors, including soil type, rainfall patterns, and the desired drainage intensity. Typically, drain spacing ranges from 10 to 60 feet, with closer spacing for heavier soils or high rainfall areas. Soil percolation tests can help determine the optimal drain spacing for your specific conditions. Normally in steeper areas you can increase the spacing and increase it in the flat areas.
  • Calculate drain depth: The drain depth should be based on the depth of the water table or the depth at which excess water accumulates. Ideally, the drain should be installed just below the restrictive layer that hinders water movement (e.g., compacted layer, hardpan). Also the deeper the drain the more it costs in earth movement to implement the design
  • Size the drains. This comes back to the rainfall intensity and the drain spacing. Ensure that the drains are sized adequately to handle the expected water volume without excessive flow velocities.
  • Determine outlet options: Identify suitable outlets for the drainage system. Outlets can be natural drainage channels, nearby water bodies, or constructed outlets such as ditches or tile mainlines. Ensure that the outlets have adequate capacity to handle the expected flow.
The menu items are generally arranged left to right in the order that you would use them. In a typical job you would normally use a work flow similar to this.
  • Pickup natural surface points with heights or import from the relevant software
  • From the contour menu. Create a triangulated surface as well as contours. Possibly use the height shading together with the tributary and catchment routines under the view menu. This tells us where the natural waterflows run.
  • Click in the one or more main Pipes. Always click in from the outlet to the start of the pipe.
  • Click in any sub-mains. Start the sub-main anywhere along a main. Ezigrade will know that the sub-main drains into the main.
  • Click in any Laterals. Start these on any relevant mains or sub-mains.
  • Be aware of the Copy, Trim and Select options. You can click on a lateral and then copy the lateral up and down the main / sub-main.
  • The Defaults, and set constraints menu items let you set the relevant pipe constraints such as min grade etc for the main, sub-mains and lateral pipes in one go
  • We would normally now calculate the profile / heights along each pipe. Use the "Recalculate All"
  • Any problems and the name is shown with some !! in the name. Make sure the names are displayed under the "Params" menu item.
  • If you select a problem pipe on the screen then its parameters are displayed in the pipe properties designs. You then have the opportunity to modify an individual pipe and recalculate the optimum design. You also have the option here of simply clicking in your own design.
  • At this stage you could export your design and jump in your tractor if you have a feel for what pipe sizes you want to use.
  • Ezigrade can size the pipes for you. First click on the "Catchment" menu item. This calculates the catchment area for each pipe. Now click on the "Calc Diameter" menu item and pipe sizes are calculated based on the rain fall intensity that you specify.
  • We have a couple of tables that you can fill in. One specifies the actual pipe sizes that you have available. Fill this in and there is an option to set each pipe to its appropriate allowable pipe size.
  • Fill in the fittings table manually. This is for joiners, risers etc.
  • Click on the PDF report which you can present to your client. Ezigrade will make up the quote automatically based on costings you have entered for pipes and fittings.
  • Under the export menu you have the option of exporting your design in either ESRI shape / Trimble XML or Geologic PLN formats.
Please look at the Tutorial further on that goes through an example from start to finish.
Please note that we have only just implemented this functionality. If you have a job you wish to design then please do not hesitate to send us any data and we can work through the design for you.
If you have any constructive comments on extra functionality or bug reports then please let us know. If you don't tell us we don't know.
We have the following menu items:

Insert Main:

This allows you to click in the plan view alignment. You firstly move to the exit point of the pipe and left click. Move the mouse and left click again. Keep adding in alignment points while you work your way from the outlet to where the pipe starts. Enter any Main pipes first.

Insert SubMain:

This allows you to click in the plan view alignment. You firstly move to the exit point of the pipe and left click. This could be on an existing Main pipe that has been previously entered. Ezigrade will automatically snap onto an existing Main pipe. Move the mouse and left click again. Keep adding in alignment points while you work your way from the outlet to where the pipe starts.

nsert Lateral:

This allows you to click in the plan view alignment. You firstly move to the exit point of the pipe and left click. This could be on an existing Main pipe or a SubMain pipe that has been previously entered. Ezigrade will automatically snap onto an existing Main or SubMain pipe if applicable. Move the mouse and left click again. Keep adding in alignment points while you work your way from the outlet to where the pipe starts. You could also be running the Lateral from an existing surface drain.
At any time you can also include an arc. Hit the 'a' button and insert goes into arc mode. This will be explained in more detail in a video.
After running these three commands we could end up with the following. The main pipe is shown red, the submain is shown yellow and the lateral is shown in green.

Copy (Laterals)

Normally Lateral pipes are designed at equispaced distances. The copy command allows you to do this. Click on an existing Lateral to select it. Now click on Pipes-> Copy (Lateral) and we have the dialog shown left. In this example we are adding in 10 new laterals at a spacing of 20 meters. The new Laterals are entered in the upstream direction.
We have three options on how we copy the lines. If you have a simple lateral consisting of
Displacement: A direct copy of the line is displaced along the submain/main at the appropriate position.
Parallel: The line is drawn parallel to the previous at the specified spacing. Assume the lateral looked like an arc. The displacement option would set all the subsequent laterals as arcs. The radius would be the same. The parallel option would give arcs as well but the raduis would grow as we went.
Guide Lines: In this option we specify one or more guide lines that intersect the lines copied.The guide line runs through a node on the parent lateral and the guide line specifies where the subsequent copies node is placed. Please note that changing the position of the new nodes means that the lines are not exactly equidistant..
Here are 3 examples: The left most example is a simple displacement of the pipe. The middle is parallel option and in the right example we are forcing the first change of direction to the north west via use of the guide line.


This allows us to trim the edge and / or extend the Lateral pipes. At present only laterals are trimmed and they need to be selected. So make sure you either left click on a lateral or use the Select command to select multiple Laterals.
Click on the Trim command and you are prompted to draw a trim line as shown below.
In this example  we have selected both Trim and Extend.
Lateral lines that intersect with the Trim line are modified accordingly.
You will notice that we have two Extend options. We have "Extend" and a "Extend Perpendicular". The extend option extends the selected pipes at there current bearing until they hit the extend line. The extend perpendicular adds another node to the line and extends out the line so it intersects perpendicular to the extend line guide. Below we have 3 screen shots. The left is before we start. The middle shows a simple extend and the example on the right is a perpendicular extend.


This allows you to select more than a single pipe. You are prompted to draw an intersecting line. Every pipe that intersects this line is selected.
After a pipe is selected you can delete the pipe, set constraints etc. Hitting escape clears the selection.


Select a pipe and then hit the reverse key then the pipe direction is reversed. Make it a habit to always click in the pipe network from outlet to inlet and you wont need this option. However it is handy if you have designed in a cad package and you didn't worry about direction when entering polylinesd etc

Strings (Convert)

This option allows you to design the pipe network using the coordinate geometry routines that are supplied with CDS. In CDS create 3 string folders, main, submain and lateral and create the strings in each of these folders that correspond to mains, submains and lateral pipes.
Running this option creates the pipe network from the appropriate string folders.
However as CDS can import from cad. Then you are able to design the appropriate strings in acad. Import it into CDS and run this menu item to have the pipe network. In Cad use the 3 layers, main, submain and lateral when creating your linework. PLease see appropriate video when done for a practical example.


This lets you set appropriate defaults for the main, submain and lateral pipes. The values are remembered between jobs.. The following dialog is shown:

Set Selected Constraints

This sets the appropriate constraints from the above dialog for any selected pipes.

Set All Constraints

This sets all pipe constraints.


Select a pipe and click on this menu item. We have a profile displayed. If you look left you can also see that the pipe design parameter docking window is also shown (this is same window as the drain docking window). For this screeshot I also clicked on the Window -> Tile Horizontal to get the screen layout shown. We will have a screen similar to below:
There is no design presently shown as it hasn't been calculated. You can select the parameters on the left and click the run button to create a design to the appropriate constraints. Remember you can also do a design manually if there are specific issues with a pipe. Changing some of the parameters and clicking run and we get this:
You can repeat this for each pipe in the network. However you need to design in order. ie Main first, then Submain and Lateral. This way Ezigrade can set the appropriate "Outlet Height" as we go.


The Catchment routine calculates the area on the surface where water intersects the pipe. We define a coridor around the pipe as well as any further areas where water can flow into this corridor. Below we can see the catchment of this lateral.
If you left click on a main or sub-main you get the catchment of everything that flows into this pipe.

Recalculate All

The recaculate item uses the constraints for each pipe to calculate the best fit. This runs through the whole design and calculates the design for each pipe. It starts at any mains and works it's way up the network.

CSV Report

This lists the appropriate lengths of all the mains, submains and laterals as a CSV. You can then easily calculate your pipe costs etc.
There are also a couple of additional menu items under the Export menu. We have presently supported ESRI shape and Trimble XML output formats. For more details please look under the Export menu documentation. Please let us know if you want any additional formats supported.


This dialog calculates the practical pipe sizes based on the allowable pipes entered. In this case we have entered pipes varying by 2" diameter. Enter the intensity that you wish to base things on and press the "Fill in Pipe Lengths" button. Pipes on the screen are now color coded by size.
This dialog when it comes up refers to the current job. However in practise we would probably reuse the same pipe data between jobs. We also have a library which you can put in your favourite pipe sizes and descriptions to carry between jobs.
Like a library you can add things to it and also get things from it. If we wanted to add these pipes into the library then the procedure is to select the appropriate entries and click on the "Add Selected Pipes to Library" button. Like all other tables in Ezigrade you select a row in the table by left clicking on the row number in the left most column. The whole row is selected and displayed blue. You can select additional rows by holding down the "ctrl" button and left clicking each additional row. You can select a whole lot of rows by first selecting a row with a left click and then do a "shift" left click on the end row and all the intermediate rows are selected.
If we want to get some pipes from the library then click on the "Get Pipes from Library". The current contents of the library are shown. To get the pipes from the library select the appropriate rows and click on "Add Selected to Job" and the dialog is closed and these are added into the job. Please note that you can add in imperial and metric into the same library if you for example work in Canada and do both imperial and metric jobs. Otherwise you would probably only have pipes in either imperial or metric.
For convenience you can also edit the library in a text editor. It is stored as a csv. Look in the folder "ProgramData\Foresoft\ezigrade4\pipes" and edit the pipelibrary.csv


Fill in this table with all the additional fittings.Ezigrade can then add these to the final quote. The table works exactly the same way as the pipe table. Again you can add and remove fittings from the library.
To edit directly look in the folder "ProgramData\Foresoft\ezigrade4\pipes" and edit the fittinglibrary.csv

PDF Report

Fill in this table with all the additional fittings.Ezigrade can then add these to the final quote. This is the first page of the report.
Please see the tutorial further on for more details.
TODO: Change the footer's content in Project Settings : HTML (CHM) Export : Setup HTML Template and Layout