Pipe Bursting Methods and Projects

Pipe Bursting Methods and Projects
Multi-year water main pipe bursting program enables upsizing of water main

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Multi-year water main pipe bursting program enables upsizing of water main

Problem: In 2008, as part of its ongoing asset management plan, the City of
Billings, Montana, designated a 520-linear-foot, 8-inch cast iron water main on 3rd Avenue North near 10th Street for replacement due to extensive deterioration.

Solution: The city elected to pipe burst the existing line and upsize to a 12-inch-diameter line using Fusible C-900 pipe from Underground Solutions.

Result: Following the success of this pipe bursting pilot project, Billings has embarked on a long-term pipe bursting program to rehabilitate aged cast iron water mains. Since the initial pilot project, over 18,000 linear feet of Fusible C-900 pipe has been installed by pipe bursting, with additional replacement phases slated for the future. City officials estimate they have saved over 20 percent versus conventional dig-and-replace construction methods. “Pipe bursting not only saves the taxpayers money, but greatly reduces the construction footprint and impact to streets and the surrounding community,” says Scott Emerick, superintendent of the Public Works Department’s Distribution and Collections Division. “We have had a very good track record using fusible PVC pipe for our water main replacement program.” 858/679-9551; www.undergroundsolutions.com.

Difficult pipe bursting project enables seismic upgrade

Problem: The Marin Municipal Water District in Marin County, California, needed to improve the seismic reliability and capacity of a major cast iron water main that supplies communities in southern Marin County. Access for the project was challenging. The existing pipe ran from a water tank on top of a hill, down the hillside where it tied into another mainline, supplying water from the tank to area residences and beyond. The pipe was located in a narrow, unimproved right-of-way surrounded by homes.

Solution: A Grundocrack pneumatic pipe bursting system from TT Technologies was used to burst the existing 14-inch cast iron pipe and replace it with the new
22-inch HDPE. Pneumatic pipe bursting was chosen because of its inherent capabilities and because of its small footprint compared to other options. The choice of HDPE was made for seismic resistance and its compatibility with the pipe bursting process. Additionally, fusion-welded pipe is well-suited for pressure applications because there are no requirement for joints or restraints.

Result: The pipe bursting run was successfully completed in one continuous 400-foot pull. Bursting started out at 1 to 2 feet per minute but slowed considerably during the pull as a result of the difficult, dry soil conditions. In addition to difficult soil conditions, bell joints in the existing pipe were located approximately every 18 feet throughout the length of the run, adding complexity to the challenging operation. 800/533-2078; www.tttechnologies.com.


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