Fusible PVC® Pipe Used to Rehabilitate Aged Steel Water Main

City of Incline Village utilizes static pipe bursting, trenchless technology

Project Profile: Pipe Bursting Installation Fusible C-900® Pipe | FPVC® Pipe


Pipe Bursting and Splitting Equipment Installation

Pipe bursting and splitting equipment, ready to enter the existing steel pipe.

The Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) is the quasi-public agency that handles public works services for the areas commonly referred to as Incline Village and neighboring Crystal Bay, both located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada. While these are smaller communities in size, there is a large tourist and visitor volume throughout the year. As part of IVGID’s capital improvement program, a section of 6- and 8-inch steel water main was in need of replacement. Approximately 2,800 feet of underperforming water main was slated for rehabilitation as part of the Water Main Replacement and Fire Flow Enhancement Project.

The existing steel water main consisted of approximately 1,200 feet of 6-inch pipe and 1,600 feet of 8-inch pipe. IVGID needed to replace the steel with an 8-inch, higher pressure capacity pipe and wanted to determine if there was any way to do this without a massive impact to the residents along the alignments. The solution was to use static pipe bursting methods and Fusible PVC® pipe to replace the failing steel line with an appropriately sized, factory produced, non-corrodible PVC pipeline, minimizing the trenching and surface disruption required to install it. Pipe bursting, or splitting, in the case of steel pipe, uses a pulling mechanism to simultaneously split or fracture the existing pipe and install a new pipeline in its place. This method utilizes the same utility easement or corridor and minimizes surface disturbance while allowing a similarly sized or in some cases, moderately upsized water pipeline to be installed. During construction, a temporary waterline is placed at grade to provide for continuous water service for customers and to facilitate disinfection and testing of the newly installed pipeline.

“Underground Solutions, TT Technologies and Q&D Construction made an excellent team providing for a successful project with excellent results.”
Mike LeFrancois, Engineer Incline Village General Improvement District

Q&D Construction, LLC was awarded the project. Several aspects of the project posed challenges that needed to be addressed. Because thin-walled steel pipe can be difficult to pipe burst, TT Technologies, Inc., makers of pipe bursting equipment were called upon to provide guidance and expertise along with equipment for the project. An extended bursting/splitting ‘train’ assembly, along with a steel protective sleeve, was used to keep sections of the existing steel pipe from layering and damaging the new Fusible PVC® pipe during the bursting process. TT Technologies and Underground Solutions also worked together to ensure the pulling head and adapter configuration were properly sized with the Fusible PVC® pipe used on the project. In addition, IVGID requires tracer wire to be installed on plastic pipe to locate it accurately in the future, so the pulling-head was configured with a pulling eye to accommodate tracer wire.

“We have a long, collaborative history with Underground Solutions. Our mutual respect and cooperation allows for effective solutions and successful projects – consistently.”
George Mallakis, Regional Manager TT Technologies, Inc.

Pipe Installation Using Pipe Bursting

Fusible PVC® pipe, assembled with thermal fusion joints, ready to be installed using pipe bursting methods.

Another wrinkle was discovered during the excavation of the first entry and exit pits. The existing steel pipe had an outer wrapping composed of 20 to 30 percent asbestos fibers. Washoe County and IVGID sent samples for testing and the lab results showed that the asbestos fibers were not “friable,” meaning that if the existing pipe was handled properly, airborne asbestos fibers were not a concern and the project could continue. With the asbestos issue resolved, Q&D installed average runs of 400 to 500 feet with pit locations oriented to water service and other appurtenance reconnection locations. Water services were installed using standard PVC pressure pipe tapping techniques and saddles at the excavated locations of the previous service connections. Final paving and surface restoration were completed for this project at the same time as another stormwater improvements project. Completing these two projects during the same summer season further reduced construction impacts to residents.

Grundoburst Static Pipe Bursting Equipment in Place

TT Technologies, Inc. static pipe bursting equipment placement.

In the end, over 3,000 feet of 8-inch DR 14 Fusible PVC® pipe was used on the project, providing IVGID with a new, factory manufactured waterline installed using pipe bursting methodology, minimizing disruption to Incline Village residents.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary

Project: Incline Village Water Main Rehabilitation
Location: Incline Village, Nevada
Pipe Length and Size: 3,027 LF 8-inch DR 14 Fusible C-900® pipe
Installation: Pipe bursting
Owner/Engineer: Incline Village General Improvement District
Contractor: Q&D Construction, LLC
Pipe Bursting Equipment: TT Technologies, Inc.

Story Courtesy of Aegion Corporation and Underground Solutions, Inc. • 858.679.9551 • www.undergroundsolutions.com

Underground Solutions, Inc. provides infrastructure technologies for water, wastewater and power cable conduit applications. Underground Solutions’ Fusible PVC® pipe products, including Fusible C-900® pipe and FPVC® pipe, utilize patented technology to produce a fused monolithic, fully-restrained, gasket-free, leak-free piping system ideal for trenchless (horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting and sliplining) or conventional “open-cut” installations and are available in 4-inch to 36-inch diameters. The combination of standard fittings and lower weight with higher flow for a given pressure class versus other thermoplastic pipes ensures that Fusible PVC® pipe brings greater economy to most pipeline projects.

Aegion®, Underground Solutions®, Fusible PVC® pipe, Fusible C-900® pipe and FPVC® pipe are the registered trademarks of Aegion Corporation. USG1507 12/18  © Aegion Corporation