This advanced technique allows the City to replace utilities without disturbing surface structures. Pipe bursting employs high-powered piercing tools with special bursting heads to smash through old service lines while pulling in new replacement lines. Most important, it can be done without affecting expensive surface structures.
Pipe bursting has several distinct advantages over open-cut trenching and other trenchless rehabilitation methods. First, it’s easy on adjacent utilities because it follows the existing pipe path.
Second, pipe bursting can be used to increase a system’s capacity by upsizing the service line; cured in-place and sliplining cannot. Third, since pipe bursting is trenchless, there is a minimum of excavation required. This allows you to work in congested areas without hampering normal traffic flow. Finally, pipe bursting eliminates the dollars and hours spent on restoration.
The process is complicated, but to put it in simple terms: after a sewer pipe is selected, one hole is dug and a section of the line is cut away, then a cable is ran through the pipe from a downstream manhole, a hammer head mole is attached to the cable and a continuous joint of pipe is then attached to the mole, the cable is then pulled threw the existing line breaking it away and replacing it with the new