Fused PVC Pipe The Answer For Pipebursting Projects Across The Country

November 2010, Vol. 65 No. 11

In addition, Botteicher points out that both fracturable pipe (cast iron, clay, ac pipe), as well as non-fracturable pipe (steel, ductile iron) are being burst using fused PVC pipe.

The St. Pete story
Pipe bursting with fused PVC pipe was a logical choice for the St. Petersburg project. The 40-year old cast iron water main had become corroded from tidal influenced groundwater and needed repair or replacement. But it was situated just three feet below the surface and ran beneath upscale landscapes that the city did not want to dig up or disturb.

By deciding to use fused PVC pipe from UGSI, the city was able to replace the 8-inch diameter, 1,200 linear foot line along Snell Isle Blvd. and attain the desired ID without having to increase the diameter of the pipe channel. The risk of heaving the ground surface and possibly cracking driveways and sidewalks was avoided.

WRS Compass of Tampa, FL, performed the pipe burst. USGI provided the pipe and fusion services.

City crews performed all of the related construction, excavation, restoration and tie-in work. Just three pits were required - a “jacking pit” at each end of the line, and a common pit in the middle. The contractor fed the 8-inch Fusible C-900 DR18 pipe from either end and joined the lines in the middle. Small potholes allowed reconnection of 29 residential taps and hydrant connections to the new water main. City personnel were able to execute all the tie-ins themselves, because working with PVC eliminated the need for electrofusion saddles.

According to Riera, “The job was completed under budget, and homeowners were pleased with the speed and minimal disruption.”

Riera said his department held meetings with the property owners and distributed literature on the technology prior to the project. That, plus the minimal disruption in the yards and driveways, led to a complaint-free project.

Bursting in Billings
In Billings, MT, water pipes were similarly deteriorated, but the city wanted to upsize the 8-inch diameter to 12 inches. The city originally had planned to fuse HDPE pipe and install it using static bursting methods. But, after a few trials with HDPE and other pipe materials, the project managers decided to try bursting using fused PVC.

The city owns its own fusion machine and bursting system to slit and burst the cast iron pipe, and a number of city employees received UGSI training to become licensed in pipe fusing.