It used to be the only way to install new underground utilities or repair existing ones was to do time-consuming and property-disrupting trenching and excavation. With the advent of horizontal directional drilling, also known as directional boring for larger jobs, underground utility installation and repair has been revolutionized. For many projects, large crews digging for days or weeks on a job is a thing of the past.
Directional Drilling Explained
A fairly simple process, directional drilling is done in three phases: drilling the pilot hole, widening the hole, and pulling the underground utility pipe or line through. Once all is done, a series of tests are conducted to ensure integrity of the installation.
Drilling the Pilot Hole
Once strategically-placed entrance and exit locations are identified, the bore route is planned taking into consideration other underground piping and lines that may already be in place. Once the drilling process begins, an electric transmitter placed directly behind the drill head send a signal to the operator who steers the drill in the right direction and at the proper depth.
Widening the Bore
Next, a reamer is used to widen the initial pilot hole to the diameter needed to accommodate the piping system being installed. The reamer is attached at the far end of the pilot hole and pulled back through the hole while the resulting slurry is pumped out. The slurry is a mixture of the water being pumped in and the soil and organic material being bored out.
Installing the Line
The final stage is installation, with the new pipeline attached to the end of the reamer and pulled back through the new hole. From start to finish, care is taken to be in compliance with permits and project specifications.
Benefits Of Directional Drilling
Minimal Surface Disruption
Expert Residential & Commercial Underground Directional Drilling in the Greater Seattle AreaUnlike traditional underground utility installation that requires a large amount of trench-digging, directional drilling leaves the ground surface relatively undisturbed. This is especially attractive in busy urban areas with roads and sidewalks, and in homeowners’ yards with landscaping and walkways in place.
Lower Environmental Impact
When major ground disturbance is avoided, exposure of old, buried toxins is avoided. Replacement of landscaping is also avoided, which is especially important when permanent hardscaping features, large trees, and/or existing waterproofing and drainage is involved. Not having to discard and replace them helps the environment, and could save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Less Exposure to Contaminants
Digging in cities poses a significant risk of bringing contaminants to the surface. Common contaminants in city soils include radon, petroleum products, pesticides, asbestos, lead and more. When contaminated soils are exposed, toxins can be carried by the wind, inhaled by people and animals, and potentially cause physical harm.
Directional drilling for water and sewer lines is much faster than traditional trenching methods, especially in larger jobs. Installing dozens or hundreds of feet of pipe takes far less time when a long trench doesn’t have to be dug, especially if some of the areas are located beneath concrete or asphalt.
Because most work is done underground, directional drilling also reduces the amount of permitting needed. We make sure all proper permits are in place, and all work is performed in compliance with city codes.
Because it takes less time, directional drilling is also less expensive than traditional pipe and cable installation methods. A smaller crew working less time equals lower labor cost, and some of our trenchless sewer repair jobs can be completed in less than a day. Also, since no landscaper is needed to repair all the areas trenching would have damaged, you keep more money in your pocket.
Directional Drilling Experts in the Greater Seattle Area
Master Bore is committed to causing as little surface damage as possible with our full range of underground utility services. We work to keep our rates affordable, and to keep job completion on time. Our goal is to exceed your expectations with expert advice, innovative technology, superior customer service and an unwavering commitment to the highest quality work. Contact us to learn how directional drilling can provide the installation, service or repair work you need with minimal disruption to your property, the environment and your wallet.