Water Networks Part II: Profiles

Once you have your water network in plan (as in Water Networks Part I  and Water Networks Part II) you can add these pipes to profile view for vertical design and labeling.

Click more for additional screen captures and more information

There isn’t any magic to getting your water pipes into profile.  Just add them like you would any other pipe.  Pipes>Add Parts to Profile View (note: the default is entire network.  Type “S” for selected parts only)

Once the water pipes show up in profile view, just grip edit them into the correct place.  I often make a copy of my target surface (EG for rehab projects, FG for new neighborhood design) and drop it the minimum pipe depth.  Then I sample this surface onto the profiles because I like to see for sure that I am optimizing my design.

If you need more flex in your vertical, add more structures to plan view (remember, they are invisible)

For labeling, keep in mind that the pipe label length will only show the length of the short segment between our “invisible” structures.  If length is not important to label in profile, simply make a label that calls out the other things that a pipe “knows” about itself.  Such as material, diameter, etc.

If you need a length label, a nice trick is to trace the dimension with a polyline.  Then make a General Line Label that calls out “Overall General Length”.  This trick also works in plan for water or absolutely anything else you can think of. 

You can use Profile View Labels to create depth labels, crossing invert labels and others.

Other ideas:  If using pipes doesn’t appeal to you, consider at least creating General Line Labels that will call out the segment lengths or overall lengths of polylines. 

Also consider that a Profile by Layout style can be made to look like and be labeled like a pressure pipe.  Just use a custom linetype or assign a lineweight to give the water line the right look.  Since profiles can have true curves, this might help in places where a more linear look/design is unacceptable. 

Coming soon…. more on laterals and things like valves and hydrants.


  1. madstop says:

    Great Topic!

    We have used LDD Pipeworks Draw Pipes to insert conceptual block “structures” of hydrants and valves into our plan view to have them automatically label with station in profile view. It would be fantastic to do this in Civil 3d with it’s dynamic capabilities.

  2. Carl Duellman says:

    i had to create an existing waterline run for a series of cross sections. i made a polyline with 100′ segments the length of the line. then i converted it to a feature line where the nodes of the polyline matched the existing surface. then i dropped the feature line 3.5’to an assumed invert. then i created a pipe run out of the feature line, much like what you did. my problem is there are so many segments that it pretty much kills any performance when i have more than one water line i need to show. i’m going to make the segments longer, probably 200′. has this large number of segments affected your processing performance? is there a work-around of some sort? great site by the way.

  3. Jon Whalen says:

    Great article. When can we expect the laterals, valves, and hydrants portion of this series?


  4. Fred Mitchell says:

    Any way this gets updated again? Would love something on valves, fire hydrants, reducers.


  5. Mike Atwell says:

    Still thinking about doing valves, fire hydrants, and laterals?