Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Kicks Off Pipe Bursting Waterline Rehabilitation Program with Fusible PVC® Pipe

For several years now, Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) engineers have noticed the increasing number of publications with stories of huge savings realized by utilities that switch from traditional open-cut water main replacement methods to trenchless pipe bursting with Fusible PVC® pipe. ABCWUA's senior engineer for small diameter waterline renewal projects, Nancy Musinski, explained: "We only have so much funding for pipe rehabilitation each year. The idea that we can do more water main rehabilitation every year with the same budget is very enticing. It's certainly better than the alternative… trying to increase the budget in order to get more failing lines replaced."

So in 2011, ABCWUA hired Smith Engineering in Albuquerque to design ABCWUA's first water main pipe bursting project, the Small Diameter Water and Sewer Rehabilitation FY12. The project included the replacement of water mains beneath Claremont Road NE and Zuni Road SE, including size-on-size replacement of old and failing 6-inch steel and 6-inch ductile iron lines.

On bid day, TLC Plumbing was selected; a fitting outcome considering that TLC had already invested in trenchless construction by purchasing a TT Technologies G800 Static Burst machine and was already certified to fuse Fusible C-900® pipe. Claremont Road was completed late in the summer of 2012, but Zuni Road was postponed to 2013 given its close proximity to the upcoming New Mexico State Fair. Russell Shoats, of TLC, commented: "The most important part of these pipe bursting projects is the setup. After that, pulling the Fusible C-900® pipe is the easy part. We've never had any trouble with Fusible™ PVC pipe and we're getting better with every project. Based on the way things are going, we're looking forward to more bursting projects with ABCWUA." The initial project called for 2,320 LF of 6-inch DR18 Fusible C-900® pipe, but TLC later identified another 1,710 LF section scheduled for open-cut replacement that TLC flipped to pipe bursting. After completing Zuni Road in 2013, ABCWUA quickly put TLC back to work on a second bursting project including 405 LF of 12-inch DR18 Fusible C-900® pipe on Cherry Hills Road NE.

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: Small Diameter Water and Sewer Rehabilitation FY12
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Length & Pipe Size: 4,030 LF 6-inch DR18 Fusible C-900® 405 LF 12-inch DR18 Fusible C-900®
Pressure Test:: 150 psi for 2 hours
Installation:: Pipe Bursting
Owner: ABCWUA, Nancy Musinski
Engineer: Smith Engineering, Susan Lime
Contractor: TLC Plumbing, Russell Shoats
UGSI Contact: Steve Austin (303) 563-9467 saustin@undergroundsolutions.com

Pipe Laydown - Claremont


Pull-Pit Setup - Zuni


TT Technologies Power Pack


"Paying-Out" Burst Rods - Zuni


Pipe Pull-Back - Claremont


Pipe Pull-Back - Zuni