The plumbing industry has made significant strides in minimizing its impact on the environment and original infrastructure when refurbishing sewer and pipelines the trenchless way. One method — directional boring — is increasingly common in the construction industry for providing a quick and effective solution to installing underground utilities without the mess.
At Express Sewer & Drain, we believe that industries and municipalities can benefit MUCH from trenchless technology. Trenchless methods, such as directional boring services, are a great example of “work smarter, not harder.”
Directional boring, also known as horizontal directional boring, is a trenchless technology for installing underground lines like sewer pipes, water pipes, conduits, and cables along a path.
It’s one of the most preferred methods to get utilities from one location to another without destroying any of the existing obstacles on the ground between the two points. With directional boring, conduits can be installed under obstacles such as busy roads, buildings, wetlands, and forests without destroying the surrounding areas.
This method is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and jobs including road, landscape, and river crossings. Installation lengths up to 6,500’ (2,000m) have been completed, and diameters up to 56" (1,200mm) have been installed in shorter runs.
Traditional trenching methods, known as trenching or open cut, are some of the most common methods to install and connect utilities. However, traditional trenching can only be used in certain situations. The ground above the conduits, pipes, or cables being installed must be capable of being dug up, which means there can be no roadways, wetlands, buildings, or any other obstacles in the way.
Unlike traditional methods, directional boring methods can be accomplished without ground destruction. It can be used to map cables and conduits under sidewalks, roads, homes, or even rivers.
Directional boring can accomplish trenching without the destruction due to its unique machines. Ditch Witch directional boring machines are commonly used for the most efficient methods. With a directional drill bit, the directional boring machine creates an entrance.
An experienced directional drilling crew is capable of navigating and steering the drill bit through varying degrees to receive the desired bore path. With radio communication, the drilling crew is capable of determining the exact location and depth of the drill bit for the most precise drilling.
Horizontal directional drilling techniques offer numerous advantages over traditional construction methods.
As a trenchless technology, directional boring is a non-destructive alternative to traditional construction. The ground is only a minor digging process, so there is minimal soil disturbance. While traditional trenching methods require streets and properties to be dug up, there is no property damage with directional boring.
Besides heavily reducing waste byproducts, this method also cuts the time and labor it takes to drill when compared to alternatives. Without the need to dig trenches and place the material back, the completion time on projects using drilling is significantly less than with conventional methods.
Since directional boring is non-destructive, it offers a great solution for municipalities. While otherwise streets and sidewalks would need to be dug up, causing traffic disruptions and potential loss of commercial activities, directional boring allows for these activities to continue without disruptions.
Directional boring is a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional trenching methods. Besides reduced soil disturbance, directional boring reduces the amount of contaminated water that's spread by avoiding damage to streams, wetlands, river crossings, and other centers of wildlife.
Directional boring offers a reliable trenchless technology solution that is expected to last over fifty years, so you can remain confident in its long-lasting strength.
While this trenchless technology can be used for residential and commercial solutions, directional boring is the preferred method for refurbishing municipal sewers, as well as being the better choice for large industrial jobs.
It’s ideal for infrastructure, particularly municipal sewer systems, since it can be used for crossings, waterways, roadways, shore approaches, and other environmentally sensitive areas without fear of contamination or destruction.
It’s also an ideal solution for busy areas, such as parking lots, roadways, and cities, since it will not cause any traffic or commercial disruptions.
Like all other trenchless technology methods, the directional boring drilling process begins with a receiving hole and entrance pits:
Step 1: First, a “pilot hole” is dug for entry.
Step 2: Then, a second maneuver enlarges the hole by introducing a larger cutting tool. The reamer's diameter is dependent on the size of the pipe.
Step 3: The driller increases the diameter according to the material being cut and to achieve optimal production.
Step 4: Finally, the sewer pipe is placed into the enlarged hole by way of a steel drill, after which it is pulled behind the reamer to allow centering of the pipe along the new path.
Pipes used in the horizontal directional drilling process can be made of materials such as PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, ductile iron, and steel, so long as the pipes can be pulled through the single access point.
Directional boring costs vary depending on the project size and other factors, such as the length and depth of the bore, soil conditions, location of the site, and much more. While some smaller projects may be given a lump sum price, larger projects have a directional boring cost per foot.
It’s important to have a plumbing company inspect the job site to give you an estimate of the directional boring cost. Environmental conditions, such as soil condition, location, and presence of water, may all factor into the overall price and will require an in-person inspection. A reputable plumbing company should be capable of giving you an accurate estimation of the project.
Choosing an experienced plumbing company to handle your directional boring is essential for an effective and speedy service. When hiring a plumbing company, here is what to look for:
Directional boring is a type of trenchless technology, so make sure that the plumbers you hire are experienced technicians trained in this trenchless specialty.
You want the plumbing company in charge of your trenchless conduit or pipe installation to bring the level of experience you need for a successful operation.
Technicians with cutting-edge directional boring equipment can give you the pipe, conduit, and cable installation precision you need. Make sure they have the latest equipment, such as the Ditch Witch machine.
Ditch Witch directional boring is another revolutionary trenchless product that allows for precise boring without disrupting commerce or posing an environmental threat.
Choosing only licensed plumbers ensures you’re receiving the most responsible and very best services. It’s California law that a plumber must have a current license to operate. To ensure they have the right training and are properly educated on California laws and codes on plumbing procedures, make sure your plumber is properly licensed and insured.
Also, it’s wise to look for a plumbing company with worker’s compensation and liability insurance with a $500,000 minimum. Why does this matter? If you hire an uninsured plumber who gets hurt on the job, the property owner would be the one responsible for their injuries!
Need expert directional boring? Our trenchless technology technicians service any location within Sacramento County, as well as the suburbs, including:
Are you in a position to make decisions regarding your city’s sewage repair? Or do you want to learn more about the many benefits of directional boring? Contact us today!