Trenchless Methods for Pipe Repair Benefit Homeowners and Cities

Introduction to Trenchless Methods

Trenchless pipe repair has reached widespread acceptance as an alternative to traditional methods requiring extensive excavation. The American Society for Testing and Materials and the Engineering Research and Development Center of the U.S. Army of Engineers have published guidelines for pipe lining and pipe bursting. Therefore, both homeowners and cities should consider trenchless pipe repair.

The first method, pipe lining, involves inserting a material inside an old pipe which then hardens. The second method, pipe bursting, entails inserting a new pipe while at the same time breaking and removing the old pipe with special equipment. Both of these methods only require digging a few holes, as opposed to the old way of removing large amounts of dirt from the entire length of the line. Most types of pipes may be repaired with pipe lining, including cast iron, PVC, and clay materials.

Benefits to Homeowners

When homeowners opt for these newer methods to fix a broken sewer pipe, they avoid the costs of digging up yards, and then restoring the landscape. Projects also take much less time to complete. These cost savings are significant for homeowners who must pay out of pocket. Homeowner’s insurance policies often do not cover the costs of sewer line replacement.

Benefits to Cities

Many U.S. cities have aging infrastructure. According to one Environmental Protection Agency study, around ten percent of pipes in public sewer systems are over 80 years old. Cities looking to upgrade their sewer pipes benefit from the cost and time savings of trenchless repairs. They also deal with fewer traffic headaches caused by the need to close roads for underground access. Fewer carbon dioxide and dust emissions are released into the air. The process also results in less noise pollution.

The newer trenchless repair strategies offer many benefits to homeowners and cities because construction crews and contractors no longer have to expose the entire length of the pipe being fixed. Projects cost less, complete faster, and cause fewer headaches.