Identifying and reducing the noise level of soil & waste pipe systems

Noisy pipes present a challenge in multi-storey buildings all over the world. Whether hospitals, hotels, residential developments or offices, pipe noise can be far costlier to fix post-build than if addressed during planning.

In this guide, we cover how to identify and reduce the noise level in the soil and waste pipe system of your building/structure and why AS+ is the perfect solution.

Identifying noise

A Fraunhofer IBP report gives different noise measurements. Fraunhofer IBP reports provide two test results: structure-borne sound and airborne sound. The difference between Airborne sound and Structure-borne sound is:

Airborne sound is the amount of noise that can be heard if standing in the same room in which the pipe is installed.  


Structure-borne sound is the amount of noise that can be heard from the pipe after the noise from water passing through it has permeated into the building construction (walls, pipe supports, brackets).

How does noise occur in piping systems?

  • When water and air pass each other
  • When waste water changes direction at branch pipes and bends, or passes a reduction
  • When water falls through a vertical soil and waste pipe, and hits a solid surface, such as the bend at the bottom.

How does noise travel?

  • Through water
  • Through pipe walls
  • Noise radiation from soil and waste pipes
  • Via pipe support to building constructions
  • Via radiation from surrounding building constructions

Noise pollution affects both health and behaviour.

Exposure to noise can affect both health and behaviour. Unwanted sound (noise) can damage physiological health. It can cause hypertension, high-stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, and other harmful effects. It is for this reason that modern buildings are equipped with a range of sound-insulation measures designed to favour comfortable living, such as thick exterior walls and soundproofed windows. But we often forget that noise is not just external; it can also be generated from inside the building. Wavin wants to create better buildings. Wavin AS+ is a premium-quality, sound-insulating pipe system designed to minimise noise from plumbing systems and maximise living comfort.

Wavin can help

Course: Managing noise in a soil and waste project

This short CPD course looks at the issue of noise generated from soil and waste installations, looking at its causes, its effects and how it can be controlled and reduced through considered design and the correct product specification.

Soundcheck tool

Unique to Wavin, the SoundCheck Tool simulates the system acoustics of your installation and calculates noise levels based on individual parameters. In just four clearly defined and intuitive steps, you can get the answers you need to see if your design meets regulations.

Noise reduction brochure

In this brochure you will learn:

  • What is noise in soil & waste systems in buildings?
  • How does noise occur?
  • How to calculate noise reduction?
  • Wavin low-noise soil and waste pipes in buildings

10 facts for successful soil & waste noise reduction

Fact 1. Compared to thin-walled pipe systems, mineral-filled plastic pipes decrease sound drastically.

Material density and wall thickness play central roles in noise minimisation. The right material composition improves noise and offers optimal sound reduction.

Fact 2. A good system bracket is half the job done.

The vibrations caused by flowing water are transmitted via the pipe bracket to the walls. Flexible materials in the bracket absorb these vibrations and thereby have a significant influence on how much noise from the pipe is reduced.

Fact 3. The thicker and the heavier the pipe is, the more sound it absorbs.

There are usually many directional changes in soil and waste systems and these can cause noise. Increasing the mass of plastic pipes and connections means they become heavy enough to provide good sound absorption.

Wavin is a pioneer

More than 30 years ago Wavin introduced the world’s first plastic low noise Soil & Waste system. After serving its purpose for more than 30 years, Wavin is introducing the successor of Wavin AS and is setting a new standard for low noise Soil & Waste solutions. Wavin AS+ is the new best-in-class plastic sound-insulating Soil & Waste piping system, suitable for drainage of hot and cold waste water and in accordance with all requirements for non-pressurized waste water piping as laid down in BS EN 12056 and DIN 1986- 100. Wavin AS+ reduces the noise level of the Soil & Waste system better than any other plastic pipe system.

Fact 4. The material composition of pipes influences how much noise is absorbed.

Flexible materials absorb vibrations caused by flowing water.


Wavin AS+ - A unique material composition for improved noise performance

Wavin AS+ is a mineral-reinforced polypropylene (PP) low-noise soil and waste solution and is available in sizes ranging from DN 50 to DN 160. A unique material composition for improved noise performance. The optimal sound reduction is guaranteed due to the high density of the material. Optimized three-layer pipe structure for low noise levels push fit connections with a pre-lubricated elastomer seal (EPDM) for quick, easy and reliable installation.

Fact 5. Urbanisation creates noise pollution.

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. In fact, a city the size of Paris is created every week.* Noise pollution (even indoors) is a side effect and can affect physical and mental health and cause sleeping problems.

Fact 6. People in urban areas are willing to pay for more comfort and silence.

The great potential for noise pollution in urban areas means people seek silence and comfort in the places they live and work.

Fact 7. The average person is willing to pay £340 to ensure a silent apartment.

For a single apartment, the cost of upgrading a soil & waste system to a high-spec low noise system is around just £340.

Fact 8. Structure-borne sound depends on multiple factors.

Pipe supports, wall brackets and wall materials – all have a considerable influence on how much noise from the pipe is reduced.

Here is an example of a case study at Doxford Park residential village – a £9 million care home development in Sunderland – where soundproofing between apartments was a key requirement.

Fact 9. Airborne sound can be used to compare pipes, but not systems.

The noise that the pipe emits itself will be the same, no matter how it is installed. This makes airborne sound a reliable way of comparing different pipes. However, for the best acoustic performance, you need to think system – and look at structure-borne sound too.


Fact 10. A realistic estimation of noise level requires you to consider many parameters.

To determine the real level of pipe system noise emissions in a room, you need a dynamic way of calculating noise level aligned to specific parameters:

  • Pipe system characteristics
  • Building design
  • Shaft characteristics
  • Suspended ceiling criteria
  • Structural characteristics of the building
  • Flow parameters
  • Installation requirements
  • Insulation requirements

10 facts for successful soil & waste noise reduction brochure

In this brochure you will learn:

  • Key sources of wastewater noise an introduction
  • Facts about noise-reduction material
  • Facts from the end-user’s perspective
  • Facts about airborne and structure-borne sound.
  • Facts about the Fraunhofer tests.
  • The SoundCheck Tool.