Corrugated steel culverts are used industrially in storm water detention systems, storm sewers and under small bridges. Culverts carry water and debris away from roadways and railroads, protecting them from damage. Corrugated steel culverts are also used in subdrains and service tunnels.
Corrugated steel pipe is available in several sizes and shapes. Most can be used for culverts, which are tunnels under roads, railroads or bridges. A culvert usually carries a natural or man-made stream of water, but it is also used simply as a tunnel. An underpass culvert is flat on the bottom and is used where pedestrians, vehicles or livestock pass through. A pipe arch shape is similar to an underpass culvert, but its flat shape makes it useful where headroom is limited.
High profile arches are used for underground storage. Pear-shaped culverts are used where there are grade separations. A box culvert is wide and square. This would be used in applications where a wide waterway flows under a road or railroad.
Where natural streams pass under roadways, some culverts are specifically designed to allow fish to pass or exclude them. Valuable game fish such as salmon and trout are allowed through with the use of baffles.