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Mains Laying and Diversion

  • Require Fire Hydrants & Washouts?
  • Time to replace old lead pipes?
  • Need a diversion or new mains installation?


Is my job too big or too small?

Murphy Utilities supply and install all types and sizes of water main. In addition to large scale mains laying services we also provide a bespoke design service for smaller projects, such as lead renewal, meter installations and diversions. So no job is too big or too small.

How does Murphy Utilities go about mains laying?

Our specialist experience in laying water mains, means we have experience in a comprehensive range of techniques. We will use our knowledge to select the most efficient for your needs.

Conventional open cut

Open cut trench excavation is the traditional method for sewer construction, repair, or replacement. A trench is dug and each ‘stick’ or piece of pipe is manually laid. The trench is then backfilled. If a small section of pipe is being replaced a Fernco type coupling is used to provide a water‐tight connection to the existing pipe. A Fernco type coupling consists of a rubber sleeve that the pipe fits inside of and is fastened to the pipes using stainless steel bands that wrap around the outside of the sleeve.

Open cut trenching is great when the site is open grassland or garden – but when it involves replacing footpaths and roads it can become expensive.

Slip Lining

Slip lining involves the simple insertion of a new pipe into an existing pipe. There is no need to dig a trench or excavate the site – only to dig an access pit. This technique is only suitable when the new pipe has an outside dimension smaller than the inside dimension of the host pipe, and so is not suitable for replacing common supplies (link to common supplies) or for replacing lead pipes.

This method is very cost effective but the ‘host’ pipe to be in good condition with no blockages or sharp corners.

Pipe Bursting

Pipe bursting is a trenchless method of replacing buried pipelines without the need for a traditional construction trench. Typical pipe bursting involves the insertion of a conically shaped tool (bursting head) into the old pipe. The head fractures the old pipe and forces its fragments into the surrounding soil. At the same time, a new pipe is pulled or pushed in behind the bursting head.

This technique requires very little excavation – but is not ideal where pipes have collapsed or are severely blocked or broken.


See our section on moling.