What Exactly Is Directional Drilling?

March 3, 2020 4:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The modern world would be nothing without the pipes underneath our feet. Criss-crossing our backyards, the sidewalks we use, the streets we drive on and the parks we stroll through are miles of pipes. In fact, in the United States, there are more than 1.6 million miles of water and sewer pipes underground. That’s enough pipeline to go back and forth across the country more than 530 times. And that’s just water and sewer pipes!

Every day as the modern world expands into new territory, new pipes are laid down. In the past, pipe-laying in California was a loud, intrusive operation. But with the advent of horizontal directional drilling services in Roseville, CA, that’s changing.

The low-key drilling method

Horizontal drilling was designed as a means to lay pipe under the ground without disturbing the surrounding area. For example, let’s say a city wants to connect two sewer pipes that happen to be on opposite sides of a neighborhood. Horizontal drilling allows that government to complete the job without disturbing the residents of the community.

Horizontal directional drilling services in Roseville, CA are also perfect for laying pipe underneath a river. The method can even be used far beneath the ground of a nature preserve without interfering with the plants and animals that dwell above.

Three passes, one hole

The process of horizontal directional drilling begins with the contractor digging two pits: the entry pit and the exit pit. Then, a crew sets up at the entry site with their drilling machine. Using remote controls, the drilling process begins with a first pass. Known as the pilot hole, this first stab through the ground establishes the general direction where the hole will eventually go.

When the drill completes the pilot hole by emerging at the exit pit, a larger bit is affixed to the end. The drill is then threaded back through the pilot hole. This time, however, the larger bit carves out more of the earth, creating a larger opening. This second trip through is known as the reaming pass.

The drill is pushed through the hole once more to clear out excess material. This process, known as the swab pass, is the final step in creating the first hole.

Careful installation

Once the hole has been drilled successfully, it’s time to begin threading the pipe through the opening. This is done inch by inch and piece by piece until the pipe itself is comfortably in place. Welders are often on-site to fix two pieces of pipe together as necessary. Once the pipe is in place, crews will complete the process by restoring the drilling sites to their original state by filling in the entry and exit pits.

The directional drilling leader

Need to lean on a pro for horizontal directional drilling services in Roseville, CA? You’re in luck, because Es7 Comm-2U, Inc. is on the cutting edge of directional drilling and boring. Since 2000, we’ve established ourselves as the area’s most accomplished contractor in the field of drilling and trenching. That’s because we approach every job with the same level of commitment to customer care. If it needs to be done correctly, come to Es7 Comm-2U, Inc.—you won’t regret it!

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