® upsized from a 10" line" />

St. Helena, California Utilizes Fusible PVC® Pipe for a Demanding Pipe Burst Rehabilitation Project of a Failing Steel Water Main in the Napa Valley

In August 2008, Team Ghilotti Construction of Novato, CA began construction on the Rutherford Water Line that extends approximately 3,000 LF south from the quaint downtown district of St. Helena, CA. The line being rehabilitated through pipe bursting was a 50-year-old, 10" welded steel line situated between Highway 29 and the historic Napa Valley Wine Train.

The design engineer, Webb and Associates of Riverside, CA, and the City of St. Helena selected Fusible C-900® pipe because it minimized the risk of upsizing to the desired 12" 200 psi pipe while also improving the hydraulic capacity of the existing steel line. Fusible C-900® pipe has roughly twice the hydrostatic strength when compared to competitive HDPE pipe, resulting in a 30% reduction in cross-section and soil expansion while providing the required ID at the 200 psi requirement. HDPE pipe would have required an upsized 16" pipe to provide equal ID and pressure class; complicating the installation significantly.

Once it was determined that several Dresser Couplings were in the alignment to be burst, TT Technologies immediately demonstrated the proper technique and tooling to ensure that the couplings could be burst (see pictures on page 2). The combined expertise of Webb and Associates, Team Ghilotti, TT Technologies, and UGSI created a successful outcome for St. Helena.

Jim Reagan from Team Ghilotti said, "I have worked in pipeline construction for over 30 years. It was great working with Fusible PVC® because it allowed me to use all standard fittings and bolt ups for the connections. I would have had to use expensive backing rings and in-ditch fusion if I had to use HDPE. I got great support from UGSI in the field during construction. We had to work in tight constraints, a highway on one side and a train on the other side. I look forward to working with UGSI on another project in the near future".

Pipeline Details and Project Summary
Project: City of St. Helena - Rutherford Water Line
Length: 2,640 LF
Pipe Size: 12" DR14 Fusible C-900®
Installation: Pipe Bursting
Engineer: Webb and Associates
Contractor: Team Ghilotti
Bursting Equipment: TT Technologies

10" steel pipe & Dresser Coupling to be burst through


Cutter wheel approaches Dresser Coupling


Final cutter wheel approaches Dresser Coupling


Final cutter wheel slices through Dresser Coupling


Expander head begins to expand 10" steel pipe


10" steel pipe expanded to 15" to allow for new Fusible C-900® pipe


Pipe insertion along Highway 29


Cutter wheels arrive at pulling pit


New Fusible C-900® pipe ready for insertion next to Napa Valley Wine Train