Pipe bursting is a method of replacing a pipe by fracturing or splitting the existing pipe from within, expanding the broken pipe into the surrounding soil, and simultaneously pulling in a same or larger size new pipe. The new pipe materials include HDPE, PVC, ductile iron and others. The advantages of pipe bursting over traditional excavation and replacement are lower cost and mitigation of risk. The replacement along the same alignment minimizes excavation and avoids utilities or easement issues. The process is also significantly less time consuming and disruptive.

Pipe bursting is a viable and trenchless alternative when considering cost reduction or existing pipe deterioration. The method is also preferred when avoiding hazardous materials or water ways, and when up-sizing the existing pipe is required.
Replacement via pipe bursting is applicable to a variety of pipelines, including:

  • Sewers & drains
  • Culverts (including CMP)
  • Raw or potable water
  • Gas
  • Power
  • Service laterals (sewer, water, gas)

Advancing experience and knowledge continue to broaden the scope of applications for pipe bursting. Two of the more recent advancements are precholorinated pipe bursting of water mains (a method that allows for main line replacement and reinstatement of services in one day) and replacement of corrugated metal pipes (a method that cuts and expands the pipe, rather than bunching it up).