Trenchless system for lead pipe replacement goes nationwide

The Kobus pipe puller, an innovative trenchless technique to remove legacy pipework and replace in the same void is going big following being awarded the Abbott Innovative Product Award at the NASTT 2019 No-Dig Show in Chicago in March of this year.

As the only trenchless solution to remove the problem altogether, Kobus is truly unique at a time when there is growing concern over lead in the ground, either in service or otherwise. That’s why the City of Bay City, Michigan, recently bought one of the specially-constructed machines to carry out the Kobus process.

“We obviously have a lead pipe issue in Michigan,” said Bay City Manager Dana Muscott. “We are being mandated to remove the lead pipes from the curb stops to the homes.”

What has attracted municipalities, contractors and water companies alike to Kobus is that it gets rid of the health concern altogether, relieves underground congestion and the process is safe, unlike other removal methods. As an increasing number of states endeavor to get on top of the lead pipe issue as public health concerns grow, the Kobus technique is an obvious choice.

“These are exciting times for Kobus as we strive to serve communities concerned over water safety who want to see the issue addressed quickly, safely, economically and with the minimum of disruption,” said Tom Atienza, head of United States and Canadian operations for Kobus USA. “We also know that beyond the issue of lead pipe safety there is a widespread need to replace ageing general water and gas service pipes everywhere.”

It is widely recognized that there are more than 6 million lead service pipes in the ground nationwide. At the same time, the required maximum lead content levels in water are being reduced by departments of environmental quality on a regular basis. This is forcing municipalities to take an increasingly proactive approach to address this problem.

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