Pipe Bursting For Replacement Of Sanitary Sewer Laterals

7th In A Series From The IPBA
By Matt Timberlake, President, Ted Berry, Trenchless Technologies Team LLC, International Pipe Bursting Association Marketing Committee | November 2011, Vol. 66 No. 11

Pipe bursting is a proven method for replacing underground pipelines and is the only method of pipeline rehabilitation and replacement other than open-cut excavation that can increase the size of an existing utility without trenching. This article will discuss the replacement of private sanitary sewer lateral pipes.

Editor’s Note: The International Pipe Bursting Association (IPBA), a division of NASSCO, is presenting a series of articles in Underground Construction that will provide the reader with a better understanding of the technology. Many myths and misconceptions exist regarding this proven rehabilitation method for replacing existing underground utilities.

Pipe bursting is a proven method for replacing underground pipelines and is the only method of pipeline rehabilitation and replacement other than open-cut excavation that can increase the size of an existing utility without trenching. This article will discuss the replacement of private sanitary sewer lateral pipes.

Private residential and commercial sewer laterals often run from the building to the city-owned sewer main with limited access dependent on local building standards. Connection at the building is typically a building cleanout and connection at the main is typically under the city street at a tee or wye. These lateral pipes have been constructed of many different materials over the past 100-plus years including VCP, cast iron, asbestos cement, Orangeburg and PVC. Although each type of existing pipe will have its own failure modes, the need for replacement of these pipelines is a constantly growing market. Complicating the private lateral replacement market is the public versus private line argument in determining where the property owner’s responsibility ends and the municipal responsibility begins. There are a number of scenarios that exist nationally and the approach in your community will need to be established based on local ordinances.

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