Fusible PVC® Pipe Goes the Distance in Horizontal Directional Drilling with Over 10,000 Completed Drills

As utilities tackle the challenges of rehabilitating and expanding aging water distribution, wastewater collection and electrical power networks, they are increasingly turning to trenchless installation methods to reduce cost and minimize disruption to the public. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) continues to grow in acceptance as utilities gain experience with the installation method and the number of HDD contractors continues to expand. In many areas HDD installation has closed the cost gap versus direct bury, leading utilities and design engineers to increasingly incorporate HDD alternatives in the design phase of their projects. Prior to 2004, the primary pipe materials used in HDD applications were steel and HDPE.

PVC pipe, already installed in many infrastructure networks, now accounts for more than 70% of the new water pipelines installed in the U.S. The steady growth of PVC pipe in water and wastewater systems can be linked directly to its combination of high strength, light weight, corrosion resistance, and its proven performance record over the past half century. With its superior resistance to hydrocarbon permeation and oxidation by chlorine-based disinfectants, PVC pipe has proven to be an ideal choice to ensure safe, reliable drinking water while providing a long service life.

As HDD projects continue to increase in size, scope, complexity, and distance, owners, engineers, and drill contractors are turning to Fusible PVC® pipe to downsize boreholes, simplify reconnections, and reduce project risk with higher tensile strength. Since its introduction in 2004, Fusible PVC® pipe has gained rapid acceptance as a cost effective HDD solution through thousands of competitively bid municipal and industrial projects, and has established an outstanding operating record in thousands of in-service installations.

Neil Smith of Mears Group comments, "Fusible PVC® pipe is allowing us to establish new frontiers in HDD applications with plastic pipe. UGSI's project management, engineering, fusion services and construction support throughout each project are outstanding."

  • More than 7 million feet installed by HDD
  • Over 40 HDD crossings completed in excess of 3,000 LF
  • Longest Single Continuous Pull-In Lengths: 7,000 Lf (30"), 6,400 LF (16"), 5,545 LF (18"), 5,535 LF (4"), 5,400 LF (24"), 5,120 LF (10"/8")
  • Trenchless Technology 2014 and 2015 New Installation Honorable Mention
  • Trenchless Technology 2010 New Installation Project of the Year

  • Fusible PVC® Pipe Advantages versus HDPE:
  • Use of standard fittings to re-connect to PVC and Ductile Iron Pipe
    • Eliminates electro-fused couplings or in-pit fusion of adaptors
    • Simplifies maintenance and fittings inventory
    • Ease of future maintenance by utility crews
  • Smaller OD for given ID and pressure class
    • Reduces HDD borehole diameter
    • Eliminates expensive transition/reducer pieces
    • Reduces size and cost of associated valves and fittings
  • Gasket-free with greater pull strength and less pipe weight
    • Monolithic pipe material with the highest tensile strength to weight ratio on a comparative material basis
    • No relaxation period required for reconnection
    • Often enables use of a smaller HDD rig
    • Greater resistance to external soil loads for deep installations

    Corpus Christi, TX: 5,545 LF pull of 18" & 4"

    Johns Island, SC: 20,000 LF of 24"

    Woodbridge, NJ: 11,000 LF of 30" Casing

    Florida: >850,000 LF of 4"-36"

    Portland Int'l Airport: 3,800 LF of 24" & 6"

    Temecula, CA: 1,360 LF of 30"

    Boston, MA: 1,150 LF (6 x 8") Conduit

    Sunset Beach, NC: 4,200 LF of 12" & 10"

    Jersey Shore, PA: 3,200 LF pull of 14"

    Napa, CA: 15,000 LF of 12"-30"

    North Dakota: >500,000 LF of 4"-24"

    Beaufort, SC: 1,300 LF pull of 36"

    Ambridge, PA: 5,000 LF of 20"

    Easton, MD: 2,400 LF of 16" & 20"

    Gloucester, MA: 2,265 LF of 20" (Parallel)

    Wailuku, HI: 4,700 LF of 20" & 24"

    Lawrence, KS: 30,500 LF of 12"-36"

    Fort Morgan, CO: 4,300 LF of 12"

    Wakpala, SD: 4,700 LF pull of 24"

    Bellhaven, NC: 4,300 LF pull of 4 x 4"

    Macon, GA: 4,300 LF pull of 24"

    Indianapolis, IN: 4,600 LF of 8"

    St. Petersburg, FL: 1,800 LF pull of 30"

    Michigan: >250,000 LF of 4"-30"