JEA Completes First Major Pipe Burst Project with Fusible PVC® Pipe

All across the country, the story remains the same. Utilities and local governments face miles of aging and failing water mains. As budgets continue to shrink, they must look to innovative and cost efficient solutions to rehabilitate these pipelines-many of which are in highly populated and congested areas. More and more utilities, like JEA in Jacksonville, Florida, have turned to trenchless installation methods to avoid the costly and disruptive aspects of open-cut installations.

JEA is a municipally owned company serving Jacksonville, Florida and adjacent counties with over 300,000 water customers. In 2010, JEA conducted small scale pre-chlorinated pipe bursting trials with both HDPE and Fusible PVC® pipe. Given the utility's extensive operating history with bell-and-spigot PVC and Fusible PVC® pipe in its water distribution system, JEA chose to use Fusible PVC® pipe for its first major water main pipe burst project in the high profile Riverside neighborhood.

JEA worked with the consulting team of JRGO and England-Thims & Miller, Inc. to design and perform construction management on the replacement of nearly two miles of 6-inch and 8-inch cast iron water mains with 6-inch, 8-inch, and 12-inch Fusible PVC® pipe using the pre-chlorinated pipe bursting method. The project bid in late 2012, and was awarded to Murphy Pipelines Contractors, Inc. (MPC), a locally-based pipe bursting contractor that also performed the small scale JEA trials.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: Riverside Area Water Main Upgrades
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Pipe Size: 6,560 LF: 12" Fusible C-900® 1,560 LF: 8" Fusible C-900® 760 LF: 6" Fusible C-900®
Installation: Pre-Chlorinated Pipe Burst, 300 LF - 600 LF Sections
Owner: JEA
Engineers: JRCO, LLC and England-Thims & Miller, Inc.
Contractor: Murphy Pipelines Contractors, Inc.
Distributor: Ferguson Waterworks-Jacksonville

With limited space to stage materials, MPC, Ferguson Waterworks, and UGSI worked together to deliver pipe, fuse and position pipe strings, and disinfect the lines along the congested Riverside corridor. MPC worked within a 10-hour window to complete each 300- to 600-foot pipe burst and the related tie-in activity. The final section was installed in September of 2013.

Tom Hayes, project manager for Murphy Pipelines Contractors, said, "Unexpected ground conditions and existing pipe in some areas presented major challenges, but the Fusible PVC® pipe performed well across a broad spectrum of field conditions, including upsizing two sizes in some areas."

Robert Kermitz of ETM added, "Overall, JEA was pleased with the outcome and gained significant knowledge that will be employed in assessing water main replacement for other areas."




Fusible PVC® pipe beginning insertion into the entry pit


One section nearly complete after an hour of pulling


Static pipe burst setup by Murphy Pipelines


Murphy Pipelines staging a pipe burst section


Fusion of Fusible PVC&trad;e pipe in Memorial Park, overlooking the St. Johns River


Two strings of 12" DR18 Fusible C-900® prior to pull