Adjusting to Trends

International Pipe Bursting Association helps carve a clear path for the industry’s future.

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In the August issue of Municipal Sewer & Water I shared how NASSCO provides unbiased support to all technologies equally, and discussed the history and advancement of the Infiltration Control Grouting Association, one of our NASSCO divisions. This month, I’d like to share more about the International Pipe Bursting Association.

The IPBA is another important division that supports NASSCO’s mission to set industry standards for the assessment and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure and to assure the continued acceptance of trenchless technologies. The association is open to current NASSCO members in good standing, and enjoys an active membership base of contractors, engineers, members of academia and manufacturers.

IPBA was originally formed in August 2000. Gerry Muenchmeyer, NASSCO’s current technical director, was part of the founding committee. “Originally named the North American Pipe Bursting Association, the objectives in forming this association were to educate the end user on the benefits of pipe bursting, develop user-friendly performance specifications, develop industry standards for pipe bursting, promote techniques for a higher predictability of underground conditions, and encourage sound technical testing and evaluation to solve real-world, end-user challenges,” Muenchmeyer says.

Like any other dynamic and evolving technology, changing times and market conditions over the years have resulted in a strategic shift for IPBA, including renaming the association to serve a global market.

“In 2009, IPBA experienced significant growth,” explains George Mallakis, IPBA’s current chairman. “We made the commitment then to recruit and establish a new generation of motivated and experienced pipe bursting professionals. This group also wanted to push forward to promote the benefits of membership and establish a more comprehensive short- and long-term approach to training, education and general awareness of pipe bursting technology. In 2010, we established a progressive, five-year strategic plan that is currently in full swing.”

Matt Timberlake, IPBA’s current vice-chairman, shares the strategy and overall vision for IPBA’s future: “We are committed to growing pipe bursting throughout North America and the world while continuing to refine its application and raise the product value to the end user, who is ultimately the general public. We will accomplish this through education, outreach and effective marketing,” Timberlake says. “Most important to our success, however, is ensuring that IPBA continues to serve as an avenue for direct collaboration with others who are committed to this technology. The only way we can accomplish the goals set forth in our current five-year strategic plan is to grow the high level of commitment and involvement that our members have, and continue to promote consistent, timely and accurate information regarding pipe bursting and its applications. IPBA membership is a huge benefit to members and one that I hope more will take advantage of in the coming years.”

If you are involved in pipe bursting, please consider IPBA membership, or join other members when they meet in Houston, Texas, at UCT in January 2014. To learn more or join now, visit

Ted DeBoda is executive director of NASSCO. He can be reached at


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