Guidelines For Pipe Bursting Technology

By Matt Timberlake, President, Ted Berry Trenchless Technologies Team LLC | October 2012, Vol. 67 No. 10
Pneumatic pipe bursting.

While used for more than 40 years, guidelines for pipe bursting technology are still needed. To help meet this need, the IPBA (International Pipe Bursting Association) has completed a reference for pipe bursting mainline sewers. The “IPBA Guideline for Pipebursting” was collaborated by professionals with expertise in all aspects of the industry and assembled to provide a factual representation of the technology, its capabilities, limitations, and methods.

After nearly a year of being published, the guideline has been widely used by many in the industry and is an excellent reference for seasoned veterans to pipe bursting, as well as individuals new to the industry.
The goal is for someone with little or no knowledge of pipe bursting technology to read through the guide and determine if pipe bursting may be an option for their pipe replacement project.

Design considerations evolve from factors including ground conditions, groundwater conditions, degree of upsizing, construction and depth of the existing pipeline, adjacent utilities, and other site-specific characteristics. As with any type of underground utility construction, certain factors may limit the feasibility of a technology, including the technical and financial feasibility of pipe bursting. When making a selection, it is important to know how to identify limiting factors
and compare them to the relative effects on a specific project. The IPBA recognizes that growth of the pipe bursting market in North America is reliant on continued success of projects, expanded knowledge and experience of the utility system owners and their consultants, trained field staff, and the responsible use of pipe bursting technology. It is generally accepted, therefore, that the contracting authority
will use a baseline for determining contractor prequalification based on proven experience of projects of similar type, size, and class of difficulty.

To download guidelines and for more information, visit For more info, including how to obtain NASSCO’s Introduction to Sewer Cleaning with Jetting Equipment video, please visit

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