Badly Needed-and Already Here

The IPBA division of NASSCO works to promote pipe bursting through education and development of specifications

After the 2011 Pumper and Cleaner Expo, I attended a roundtable breakfast meeting to evaluate and discuss the show.

I was fortunate to sit with several people who specialize in pipe bursting, and their conversation turned to the need for an association to support the pipe bursting industry. I quickly realized that many pipe bursting professionals don’t know about the International Pipe Bursting Association (IPBA), a division of NASSCO.

IPBA’s mission is to advance the acceptance of pipe bursting through education, training, marketing and governmental support and to promote the replacement of existing pipe infrastructure using the most cost-effective method.

In practice, IPBA works to promote pipe bursting as a practical replacement method for water, sewer, storm and gas mains. Membership is made up of contractors, manufacturers, engineers, and utility system owners with a common goal: To promote pipe bursting technology through educational programs, and to provide an unbiased set of guideline specifications that can be used for those adding pipe bursting to capital improvement programs.

The IPBA specifications committee is working hard to release a current set of technical specifications designed to further NASSCO’s mission to set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground pipelines, and to assure the continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies. Once a peer review is complete, the pipe bursting specifications will be posted on the IPBA page of the NASSCO website.

Other activity within the IPBA division includes the development of a series of technical articles that will address the ten most common misconceptions or myths associated with pipe bursting, a technology that has been widely used in Europe for more than 40 years and has matured to become a practical, safe, and affordable method to replace utility lines while reducing excavation and emissions by as much as 95 percent.

NASSCO was formed in 1976 with one goal in mind: To improve the success rate of everyone involved in the pipeline rehabilitation industry through education, technical resources, and industry advocacy. During our 30-year history we have made great strides, but our work is never done. We are constantly researching, evaluating and developing new methods to train our members and educate them about the importance of properly rehabilitated underground utilities.

One way we work to extend our efforts to achieve NASSCO’s goal is through divisions like the IPBA, which is becoming more active than ever in 2011. I would urge all pipe bursting professionals to join and get involved in this association. For more information, visit F

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at NASSCO is located at 11521 Cronridge Drive, Suite J, Owings Mills, MD 21117.


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