A number of clients have come to us recently raising concerns about losing too much developable land, due to easements and wider infrastructure corridors being imposed by Authorities. The reason, they advise, is for future maintenance requirements. What many clients may not be aware of is the maintenance method of “pipe bursting” which in many cases, means the extra land and easement widths being imposed aren’t in fact necessary.
Despite the evolution of new methods of construction and maintenance, the way our communities are planned and designed are in many ways, based on old, outdated construction methods. For example, we’ve recently seen an Authority request to widen a road reserve by 3m to fit a trunk sewer. And then seek to impose a 10m wide easement over the main throughout the entire development – mostly to ‘allow access for future maintenance’. Pipe bursting might help deliver a better outcome.
As strange as it sounds though, bursting pipes is actually a very effective method for repairing or upgrading them. Basically, pipe bursting is a procedure of pipe repair and upgrading, that doesn’t involve digging trenches. Just as its name suggests, the repairer of the pipe intentionally breaks the existing pipe using mechanically applied force. The resulting pipe fragments are forced into the ground, and a new pipe is then pulled in to replace the original one.
The benefits of pipe bursting:
- Reduced easement widths (less encumbrance, more usable land, less space for maintenance);
- More developable land (minimised corridor widths);
- Less site damage and minimal surface restoration costs (access via manholes so surface disruption is minimised);
- Cost effective (similar costing to open trenching especially in urban areas); and
- Better function and increased capacity (pipe liners can increase flow capacity, the size of the pipe can be larger than the old one, adding more flow capacity as well).
So next time you are negotiating the layout of your development or have a relatively complex sewer or water upgrade to do, think about bringing trenchless technology into the discussion. You might end up with more developable land, less encumbrance, as well as getting the job done faster and at lower cost than traditional methods.