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Pipe Bursting

Pipe Bursting is a trenchless method of sewer construction. It is an alternative to the Open Trench Excavation method that allows for replacing or upsizing an existing pipe without the need for a traditional construction trench.

Crews dig a sending pit and a receiving pit to install a new sewer pipe. Crews insert a bursting tool into the existing sewer line. The bursting tool breaks the old pipe apart and pulls the new pipe into place behind it.

The work involves the following steps:

  • Dig small trenches to expose existing lateral connections where adjacent properties are connected to the mainline public sewer.
  • Disconnect existing laterals from the mainline public sewer pipe to be repaired and provide a temporary connection to maintain sewer service.
  • Cover the trenches with steel plates and proceed with the pipe bursting process.
  • Dig a sending and a receiving pit to the required depth.
  • Insert a bursting tool into the sending pit and connect the new sewer pipe to the bursting tool.
  • Pull or push the bursting tool through the existing mainline sewer pipe, breaking it apart, while simultaneously pulling the new sewer pipe in place. The pipe bursting process pushes the broken pieces of the old mainline sewer pipe out into the surrounding soil.
  • Connect existing laterals to the new mainline sewer pipe.
  • Cover open pits with steel plates—or secure the pits with fencing—at the end of each day as needed while work is in progress.
  • Backfill pits with sand or gravel and apply temporary asphalt patches.
  • Conduct quality control inspections.
  • Complete permanent pavement restoration of patched pits after work passes inspection.