Typically, pipe bursting is completed in lengths between 300 and 450 ft., which corresponds to the typical distance from junction box to junction box, or from manhole to manhole. Longer runs are possible, but they may require larger tools.
Expanding prospects lie ahead
The prospects for pipe bursting are expanding as the U.S. infrastructure ages. Replacing old sanitary sewer lines has been the primary driver behind the current technology, due in large part to EPA mandates put in place to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows. "Many cities' water systems are also in need of repair. But they're not creating the environmental issues that sewer systems are," indicates Nicholson.
"Overall, there is a strong trend toward a lot more pipe bursting in the very near future," he continues. "Communities are needing to replace pipe for a number of reasons, including under-capacity, damage, etc. And as acceptance becomes greater, the overall ability and availability of pipe bursting will grow."
As pipe bursting technology continues to evolve, the applications will evolve, as well. "We feel there are some big opportunities with pipe bursting," says Collins. "The more we can do without disrupting the surface, the better off we are. We're finding more ways to do things more efficiently."
"Bursting has a lot of opportunity and can help save communities money as they look to rehabilitate their lines," adds Nicholson. "Be aware of the technology, and be willing to try something different."