IPBA Active Again; Promotes Pipebursting Benefits

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | August 2010 Vol. 65 No. 8

There is a flurry of activity among members of the International Pipe Bursting Association (IPBA) as the association accelerates efforts to promote the benefits of this versatile trenchless method for replacing failing underground infrastructure.

Founded in 2000 as a division of NASSCO (National Association of Sewer Service Companies), a primary goal of the IPBA is educating engineers and municipal water and sewer managers about the benefits of pipebursting and providing technical data about the technique and its applications.

The association prepared and published pipebursting standards and specifications guidelines in 2003 which is widely used nationally and internationally. However, following publication of the guidelines, association activities declined.

IPBA’s rebirth began earlier this year at the annual UCT Show in Tampa when more than 20 industry representatives met and determined that an independent pipe bursting association was a necessity and that the IPBA needed to be brought to active status.

“The Tampa meeting was our kickoff event and launched the IPBA into an active organization again,” says Brian Metcalf, association chairman. “The meeting was attended by some of the major pipebursting contractors in North America and discussions centered around the need to make the IPBA an active and effective organization focused on the education, promotion and expansion of our industry.”

Committees were organized for marketing, education, specifications and governmental relations.

Also at the Tampa meeting, the decision was made to have an all-day working session in Chicago in May the day before the opening of the No Dig show to begin drafting a five-year strategic plan to meet the association’s objectives. Committee leaders, says Metcalf, were charged with working with members to prepare recommendations for inclusion in the five-year plan.

Efforts continue
Following the May meeting, committees have remained active and planning work continues.

“Our immediate goals,” Metcalf says, “are to finalize the five-year plan, expand our member base, develop a long-term plan to expand the industry by double digits annually, and make pipebursting the preferred low-cost solution to replacement of aging infrastructure. We can accomplish these goals by advancing the acceptance of pipebursting through education, training, marketing and encouraging governmental support to replace existing infrastructure using the most cost-effective methods available.”

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