Sewer projects under scrutiny in San Bruno investigation

09/17/2010 | Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

Investigators studying the San Bruno natural-gas pipeline explosion in California last week are examining a number of sewer projects conducted near the pipeline. Workers used a trenchless "pipe bursting" technique to replace nearby sewer lines in 2008, despite a study by the Army Corps of Engineers that suggested the method could displace and compact soil around the sewer. "It is possible you can cause a local buckling in [a nearby] pipe and that over time causes extra corrosion that nobody notices," said Raymond Sterling, the study's co-author.

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