Pipe Bursting

PW Trenchless Construction started working with Pipe Bursting in the late 1990’s and the benefits of trenchless construction have never been more important.

The advantages of this method are vast — lower cost, less carbon emissions, less traffic disruption, less trucks driving excavated material out, and fewer truckloads of fresh fill trucked in. Adding to this the recent changes to carbon credits, makes Trenchless Technologies the “go to” choice. For Pipe Bursting, the amount of excavated material is quite small when compared to open cut methods. There is also less risk to existing infrastructure, such as water and gas lines as well as any buried cables.

To execute this method, a fairly large entrance and smaller exit pit are excavated. The exit pit holds the hydraulic pulling rig and the entrance pit needs to be long enough to accommodate the limited flexibility of the HDPE replacement pipe, as it needs to go from the surface elevation to the host pipe’s invert elevation. Along with the two end pits, a pit must be dug and shored for each service laterals for the various properties along any given project. Once these pits are dug they need to be secured so they do not pose a fall hazard for the residents on the street. A bypass pumping system for the sewer mains needs to be set up prior to the burst and sometimes this needs to be done before the exit pits are dug. The day of the burst, the residents are asked to keep the use of water sent into the sewer system at a minimum, but showers and toilets can still be used as normal.

Many times, the contract stipulates all pipes leading to the service laterals need to be replaced, so a small static burst is used to pull new pipe from the main to the property line, depending on the location of the main.

Fusing the pipe is a specialized task and many of PW Trenchless field technicians are trained in this procedure. A HDPE Fusion machine is brought on site and the fusing of the pipe is performed in the days before the day of the burst. On the day of the burst, a pulling head is bolted onto the end of the HDPE pipe and it is staged in place with the bursting pulling head lowered into the entrance pit. It is connected to the pulling rods and pulled into the beginning of the hoist pipe. Often the back of the new HDPE pipe needs to be elevated to allow for a bend to allow the new HDPE pipe in the entrance pit to line up flat with the invert of the host pipe. Once the pipe is pulled into the host pipe, the pipe is connected via mechanical connections to a piece of PVC pipe, which can then be grouted into the outlet and inlet of the manholes, and completely replaced.

Projects with Pipe Bursting

Maple Ridge Sewer Replacement

In early 2017, The City of Maple Ridge put out to tender a contract for an "Experimental" pipe burst in a fairly sensitive area of Maple Ridge and through part of Kanaka Creek Park. The host pipe was 275mm (15 …

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Port Coquitlam Pipe Replacement

During the summer of 2018, PW Trenchless replaced three storm sewer mains in Port Coquitlam. Using Pipe Bursting to install new HDPE pipe, one section was 150 m in length and involved the installation of 16” pipe (400mm) to replace …

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SFU 2017

During the fall of 2017, PW Trenchless replaced AC water mains via Pipe Bursting on the Simon Fraser University Campus near the student housing on Residence Lane and Terry Fox Lane. The work passed through sensitive areas, and in close …

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Our Services

Design - Build

An alternate tendering process where the contract is awarded to one entity which comprises both engineering and contracting.

Because PW Trenchless Construction offers such innovative solutions for underground utilities, it is often beneficial for the owner to request solutions based on a performance specification. This allows PW Trenchess to offer unique solutions while working with equally innovative engineering companies.

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New Installation

New installation methodologies include HDD & traditional open cut

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Pipe Replacement & Rehabilitation

In this day & age of pipe systems reaching the end of their projected lifespan, pipe replacement and pipe rehabilitation have become major fields of engineering.

PW Trenchless Construction provides viable options such as pipe bursting, loose fit lining and internal pipe re-construction whether partial & fully circumferential.

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Culvert Rehabilitation

The aging culverts under roads and highways in many case have reached the end of their engineered life-span. We consider the rehabilitation or replacement of these culverts to be vital to our built environment.

PW Trenchless has been a pioneer in working with MOTH, railway companies and municipalities in developing rehabilitation methodologies for the hundreds of thousands of culverts that currently exist in BC. We have offered solutions in both procurement and construction from design-build to sliplining, invert rehabilitation and full circumferential relining.

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Point Repairs

Often pipe failure can be concentrated to one section, for various reason, leaving the rest of the pipe in good condition. The repair of these localized failures are know as external point repairs (EPR's).

EPR's demonstrate PW's ability to work as both a trenchless and civil contractor, completing EPR contracts using our civil contracting skills and assisting other pure trenchless contractors who only have the capacity to work in an existing pipe.

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Pipe Upsizing

Pipe upsizing is the fundamental concept of pipe bursting.

The vast majority of pipes are less than or equal to 200mm in diameter, but with today's densification practices of urban design, there is a major demand to increase current capacity to handle extra flow. Pipe bursting provides the ideal solution to this issue, particularly in an urban setting .

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Horizontal Directional Drilling

Horizontal Directional Drilling is a low impact Trenchless construction service where pipe is installed in a shallow arc along a bore path which has been created by a drilling rig. Often the terms Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and Directional Boring are used interchangeably, but in our industry we use the word “boring” when we utilize smaller sized drilling rigs with small diameters for short crossings in the hundreds of feet, and we use the word “drilling” when we utilize larger rigs with large diameters for long crossings in the thousands of feet.

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Primus Lining

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Clients We Serve

City of New Westminster logo
City of Delta logo
City of Surrey logo
City of Port Coquitlam logo
UBC logo
City of Coquitlam logo
City of Nanaimo logo
City of Pitt Meadows logo
City of Vancouver logo
BC Rail logo
City of Burnaby logo
City of Whistler logo
City of Victoria logo
City of Metro Vancouver logo
City of Squamish logo
City of West Vancouver logo
City of Richmond logo

Join Our Team

When you join PWT, you become part of a community of people who are engaged in the most innovative practices in the Trenchless Industry. We have been instrumental in setting up a scientific method for cities to gain carbon offsets/credits from their use of trenchless construction. This system has been reviewed by the BC Government and has been approved as of December 2018. We expect to see it in common use shortly.