Trenchless Pipeline Removal

Published: December 7, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Trenchless Pipeline Removal Mean?

Trenchless pipeline removal (TPR) is the trenchless rehabilitation method of removing buried pipelines without trenching. Before, the only way to remove buried pipelines was to excavate above it or abandon it altogether.

A pipeline can be decommissioned by cleaning, evacuation and cement mortar filling, but the utility owner is still responsible for the pipeline to local authorities and private owners as it still takes up land.

When such a pipeline is removed from the ground, the pipeline owner is free from all related obligations.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Trenchless Pipeline Removal

TPR, like other trenchless installation techniques such as pipe jacking and horizontal directional drilling (HDD), requires entry and exit pits for the launch and retrieval of equipment and pipe.

TPR is conducted by performing a helical cut on the pipe using water-jet cutting. This causes the pipe to behave like a spring, effectively reducing its cross-section and therefore its soil-to-pipe friction. This allows the pipeline to be pulled out easily. Conversely, conventional pipeline removal techniques involve extensive excavations to expose the abandoned pipe, which is then cut into several pieces for removal and transportation.

Finally, the site has to be reinstated to its pre-existing condition by backfilling, compacting, and revegetating the surrounding area.


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