Lee’s Summit: Water Main Pipe Bursting Program

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Fusible PVC™ Pipe in place after burst.
Fusible PVC™ Pipe in place after burst.

Over 38,000 feet of Fusible PVC pipe installed to date

The city of Lee's Summit, Mo., is located on the southeast side of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and provides water service to approximately 93,000 customers. The water department delivers approximately four billion gallons of water per year to its customers through a 580-mile-long system of water mains. The existing system is comprised mainly of cast iron and ductile iron pipe, which in the clay soils found in Lee's Summit has created significant corrosion concerns. In order to target the areas of greatest concern, the city decided to replace those mains suffering the greatest repair frequency. Overwhelmingly, these mains were small-diameter cast iron and ductile iron lines in residential areas. In an effort to replace that infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner, while at the same time minimizing the overall impact to residents and customers, the city focused on trenchless construction methods.

Pipe bursting has allowed the city to minimize excavation in crowded utility corridors and residential areas by installing a new line using the same path as the existing water line. Initially, multiple pipe materials were considered for the pipe bursting program with the 2009 phase of the project allowing contractors to select between Fusible C-900® PVC pipe and HDPE. Ultimately, the Fusible C-900 pipe delivered more benefits by allowing the city to: 1) maintain material continuity with other PVC pipe installed in its system; 2) upsize lines with minimal increase in pipe OD; and 3) use standard PVC and ductile iron fittings to reconnect the lines.

When the 2012 Small Main Replacement Project was designed it was determined that Fusible C-900 pipe would be utilized for the pipe burst and horizontal directional drill (HDD) sections based on the reasons described above. The overall project scope includes approximately 25,000 feet of 6-inch and 8-inch Fusible C-900 pipe to be installed via pipe bursting, with an additional 600 feet of 6-inch Fusible C-900 pipe to be installed via HDD. The project bid in March of 2012 and was awarded to Lamke Construction of Marthasville, Mo. Lamke started construction in May of 2012 and, by November, had installed over 9,000 feet of 6-inch and 5,000 feet of 8-inch Fusible C-900 via pipe bursting. "This is the first time we have used Fusible PVC™ pipe," said Lamke's Pat Dougherty. "It has worked well and we have been pleased with the overall performance of the material. I would not hesitate to utilize Fusible PVC pipe on future projects."

The remaining 11,000 feet of Fusible PVC pipe was installed beginning in April 2013, once the weather had warmed enough to remove any concern of freezing for the temporary system that is installed prior to the bursting process. The work was completed and accepted by the city in September of 2013. "We are very pleased with the small main replacement projects and of the benefits that Fusible PVC pipe has provided for these projects," stated Kevin York of the City of Lee's Summit. "Underground Solutions is outstanding at supporting Fusible PVC pipe and trenchless technology."

Underground Solutions is exhibiting at AWWA's ACE14 expo in Booth 609.

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