City crews to use 'pipe bursting' process to replace aging water, wastewater pipes

The City of Tampa demonstrated a new process it's using to replace its aging water and wastewater pipes known as "pipe bursting."

Through pipe bursting, crews are able to destroy old pipes and water mains without completely digging them up, while simultaneously snaking new pipes through the existing hole in the ground.

City leaders said this is less invasive than older replacement methods and should result in fewer service disruptions and road closures.

READ: USF TikTok ban: University of South Florida joins UF, banning multiple apps from school devices, internet

"We respond to burst water pipes and wastewater cave-ins to the tune of multiple, multiple millions of dollars a year," Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a news conference Wednesday in the Forest Hills community. "This will be a savings monetarily, but also it will increase the water pressure in the neighborhood for Forest Hills and other neighborhoods around the city that we have these projects in."

The construction is part of the city's $92 million infrastructure improvement project focusing on repairing pipes in the Forest Hills, East Tampa, Macfarlane Park and Virginia Park communities. The pipes in some of those areas are about a century old.

City leaders expect to begin seeing a reduction in water main breaks and road cave-ins resulting from stormwater issues within the next five years.