Preparing to Minimise Land Effects and Deal With Byproducts When Trenchless Drilling

Posted on: 4 June 2017

Trenchless and horizontal directional drilling reduce the effect of drilling on the landscape and produces fewer byproducts throughout the process. However, the process still affects the land and creates some byproducts. Although both effects are lessened, you still need to prepare. Here's what to keep in mind:

1. Soil Investigation

 A directional or trenchless drilling service requires a certain type of land to be the most successful. If the soil is too sandy, for instance, it can be more likely to cave in during the drilling process. To ensure traditional drilling isn't better for your project, you may want to start with a soil analysis and consultation with a drilling company.

2. Geological Risks

Once you've determined that trenchless drilling is the best option, you should find a consultant to help you evaluate the geological risks of the area. For instance, if you have to go beneath a river, you want to ensure that the drilling doesn't risk affecting the river. Similar precautions need to be taken near fault lines, bedrock, water tables and any other areas where your consultant may note risks.

3. Access

Typically with trenchless drilling, machinery needs to be positioned at either end of the drilling area. In order to complete the process, you need to ensure that you have adequate space for all the necessary equipment to access the project.

4. Bentonite

Bentonite is used throughout the drilling process to stabilise the hole and help the borer to move through the tunnel, and you need to figure out how to dispose of it. It is a natural clay material, and it is not a hazard to animals or plants on a chemical level.

However, if you dispose of it in a stream or waterway, you need to ensure that it is disposed of slowly. If too much is put in the water at one time, it can cloud the water. That cuts off light to the fish and plants, and that can affect them. To be on the safe side, you need to talk with your drilling company about how they plan to deal with the bentonite. If you plan to hire drilling equipment, you need to make your own plans.

5. Soil

Trenchless drilling removes a lot less soil from the ground than other types of drilling, but you will still need to deal with some fill dirt. Find a way to incorporate it into the landscaping of your project, or ask the drilling company if they can dispose of the fill dirt for you.