The benefits of trenchless technology are well understood by all in our industry—more cost-effective and less disruptive to streets, driveways, and landscaping. However, what is often less clear to many engineers and city officials faced with a wide selection of materials and processes is just what type of pipe is best suited for a particular trenchless application. This paper will present the engineering considerations involved in selecting thermoplastic water distribution pipe for directional drilling projects, focusing on assembly considerations, structural and flow performance, pressure-handling capacity, joint integrity, and compatibility with existing systems. These concepts are illustrated by the experiences at the University of Denver, where trenchless technology was successfully utilized on an irrigation system in an area where conventional pipe installation techniques were determined to be unsatisfactory.
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