What it involves

Pipe Bursting is a trenchless method of replacing buried pipelines (such as sewers). We break the existing pipe, push it outwards and pull or push a new pipe through. In some cases it can also be used to increase the diameter of an existing pipe.

Our ServiceĀ 

  • The process breaks an existing pipe and displaces the fragments outwards while a new pipe is drawn in to replace the old pipe.
  • Typical bursting methods include pneumatic, hydraulic expansion or static pull.
  • The set-up requirements vary in relation to replacement, pipe diameter, length(s), existing access chamber size, bursting equipment size etc.

Our Process

  • Prepare the manholes to be used.
  • Prepare the replacement pipe.
  • Set-up the bursting equipment.
  • Connect replacement pipe/pipe section.
  • Commence bursting and feed pipe/connect pipe sections as appropriate.
  • Monitor surface heave as appropriate to your site.
  • Complete the pipe replacement and remove the bursting equipment.
  • Secure pipe ends and manholes.


  • Knowledge of pipe material and condition.
  • No connections that cannot be accessed to reinstate (bursting will damage).
  • Known ground conditions, including likelihood of concrete surround other obstructions that would hamper pipe expansion.
  • Knowledge of acceptable ground displacement/movement tolerable at surface.
  • Services, structures and surface finishes above the pipe.
  • Pipes 100mm to 1200mm.

When to use pipe bursting

  • A very effective trenchless technique for known ground, for runs with no or few connections and with no movement sensitive structures or services above the pipe. If a degree of upsizing is required, this is the best trenchless technique.
  • The bursting method can be adjusted according to the available access, the host pipe conditions, diameters and lengths.

How we can help

Pipe bursting is an activity that has a very high failure rate when the people doing it are inexperienced or careless. The McAllister Group possesses the necessary experience and in-house support by a number of specialist partners who have a broad range of equipment and vast experience.

Our approach is to work in tandem with the client and their goals. We always conduct a rigorous site investigation before recommending pipe bursting; depending on the diameters, site situation and most appropriate bursting technique, we will either install a new run ourselves or manage the schedule of works carried out by an appropriate partner.