Trenchless Technologies: What is pipe bursting and what are the benefits?

 Imagine being able to replace water lines or even an entire drainage system without causing a major disruption on your property. While most property owners have experienced broken underground pipes and the associated expense and disruption of excavation, few have taken advantage of the techniques of Trenchless Technologies. Trenchless Technology involves the installation, replacement or renewal of underground utilities with minimum excavation and surface disruption. For close to 30 years CPR – Complete Property Restoration has been providing solutions to property owners, home owner associations and fortune 500 companies in the tri-sate area. We are always finding the best solutions to property owner’s problems and one of them is Pipe Bursting.

Professional pipe bursting can replace ANY kind of damaged pipe from 1” to 36”, including:

•PVC and other plastics •Clay

•Cast iron

•Galvanized pipe

•Corrugated pipe

•Black pipe

•Orangeburg pipes

•Copper

Many underground service utilities in the Northeast have been in place for over 50 years. While many existing systems have functioned well beyond their reasonably anticipated service life, a large proportion of underground systems are significantly deteriorated and need costly maintenance and repair. Common problems involve corrosion and deterioration of pipe materials, failure or leakage of pipe joints, and reduction of flow due to mineral deposits and debris build up inside the pipe. Damage to existing pipes can also occur by tree roots, ground movements due to adjacent construction activity, uneven settlement or other ground instability. This leads to infiltration and inflow, pipe failures, pipe blockages, and sanitary sewer overflows in sewer systems. In water systems, it leads to flow and pressure reductions, persistent leakage, burst pipes, and poor water quality.

Additionally, in gas pipelines, undetected leakage can lead to the possibility of explosions. All of these problems tend to increase with age.Under many conditions, pipe bursting has substantial advantages over open cut replacements. The advantages are especially notable in pipeline replacement for deeper lines, where the greater depth of lines increases the cost of open cut replacement through extra excavation, shoring, and dewatering, etc., while it has minimal effect on the cost of pipe bursting. Additionally, as the underground utility network becomes even more congested through the advancement and expansion of services like gas, high speed cable, and fiber optic, the need to preserve space underground for future growth becomes a necessity.

Additional advantages of pipe bursting over the open cut replacement are indirect cost savings, due to (1) less traffic disturbance, (2) shorter time for replacement, (3) less business interruption, (4) less environmental disturbance, (5) reduced surface paving expenses, and other social benefits. On pipeline projects, pipe bursting can also be used to preserve fragile ecosystems such as coastal areas and wetlands, avoiding the disruption and damage caused by excavation.

Even when bursting costs the same or slightly more than open cut in terms of contract price, the decrease in total effective costs compared to open cut makes bursting very appealing.

Bottom Line – It doesn’t matter what your underground pipe problem is, pipe bursting can be the cost effective solution.

As director of underground pipe services at CPR, Bob Schroeder has over 30 years of experience. He has extensive experience in pipe bursting, pipe relining, spot repair, excavation, drainage, video inspections, hydro-jetting, and project management. He is also licensed in PACP. 

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