Pipe bursting is a trenchless pipe replacement technique. Typically, pipe bursting involves inserting a bursting head into the existing pipe and forcing it through to fracture the old pipe. A replacement pipe is pulled in at the same time, behind the bursting head. Sewer laterals are then reconnected to the new sewer main pipe.
An insertion pit must be dug at one end of the pipe section and a reception pit at the other end. A temporary sewer bypass system is also installed so that the flow can continue downstream of the work. The replacement pipe can be the same size or larger than the old pipe.
Simicevic, Jadranka and Raymond L. Sterling. "Guidelines for Pipe Bursting." TTC Technical Report #2001.02 (2001): 1-47. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.latech.edu/tech/engr/ttc/publications/guidelines_pb_im_pr/bursting.pdf>.